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'ELEMENTAL' examines the power and impact of wildfires

Used with permission from Ralph Bloemers.
The title sequence for the new documentary, "ELEMENTAL".

A new documentary highlights the impact of wildfires, and people’s evolving relationship with them.

The documentary ELEMENTAL, features some of the region’s most devastating wildfires. This includes 2020’s Holiday Farm Fire, surveyed by air by a couple forestry experts in one scene.

Ralph Bloemers is the executive producer of ELEMENTAL. He says there’s one main takeaway he’s hoping audiences leave with.

“If hundreds of thousands, millions of people watch this that live in fire country, decide to prepare their homes and as a result, we get less community loss, I would be overjoyed.”

Fire hardening of homes and property management are seen as key to helping them stay safe from wildfires.

ELEMENTAL will be shown for a week at the Art House Theater near the University of Oregon, starting September 9.

Used with permission from Ralph Bloemers.
In a screen shot from 'ELEMENTAL' an aerial view of Blue River, OR shows the devastation wrought by the Holiday Farm Fire in 2020.

The documentary will also come to an area that knows the extent of their devastating power all too well: the McKenzie River Corridor community of Blue River. The town was decimated by 2020’s Holiday Farm Fire and is still rebuilding.

Bloemers says the film explores wildfires through a number of expert perspectives, including fire hardening of homes.

“A lot of people are taking away a lot of different things, from a bunch of different backgrounds, And I just hope that that provides them hope and a pathway for actions that they can take to increase the resilience of their own community.”

The McKenzie River showing is Sept. 30 at 7pm, at the Upper McKenzie Community Center.

ELEMENTAL has been accepted into more than a dozen film festivals so far, and was supported by National Geographic and PBS.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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