KETCHUM — Wildfires have historically brought a cycle of destruction and rejuvenation to south-central Idaho, and a new exhibit at the Sun Valley Museum of History provides a historical overview of wildland firefighting in the West.
Visitors can explore “Firelines: The Story of Wildland Fires in the American West” from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at the museum on First and Washington streets in Ketchum. The museum is operated by The Community Library.
The exhibit includes a timeline of large fires and fire policies from 1865 to present, plus panels highlighting the 2007 Castle Rock and 2013 Beaver Creek fires.
“About a third of the exhibit is local stories,” said Mary Tyson, director of regional history at The Community Library.
A video available to the public for the first time highlights interviews with community members. The exhibit will run through Oct. 7.
“The wildfires are a natural part of our ecology, but it gets complicated by human involvement,” she said. “We’re promoting conversation around wildfire and understanding of the function it plays in our ecosystem.”
In addition to the exhibit, The Community Library and the Environmental Resource Center are hosting these upcoming wildfire programs:
PBS’ The Big Burn — film screening: Watch the documentary inspired by Timothy Egan’s best-selling book following the largest fire in American history. The showing is 6 p.m. Tuesday at The Community Library, 415 Spruce Ave., Ketchum.
The Big Burn — book discussion: Join in a discussion about Egan’s book “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & the Fire That Saved America,” 6-7 p.m. Wednesday at The Community Library.
Book discussion: “Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy.” Author and editor George Wuerthner will come for a reading from the book and a discussion at 6 p.m. July 18 at The Community Library.
Firewalk: Join U.S. Forest Service Botanist and ERC board member Deb Taylor from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Greenhorn Gulch trailhead. Taylor will lead participants through scorched areas to teach about fire cycles, ecological impacts of fires, and how an ecosystem goes through the renewal process after a fire. Bring sturdy shoes, sun protection and water. Dogs are not allowed. This is a free program, but preregistration is required by calling 208-726-4333.