CWPC Program Associate Katie Oran was interviewed by NPR about what it’s like to have a “front row seat” to the climate crisis working as a wildfire planner at CWPC. The article, “Climate Change Is Making Natural Disasters Worse — Along With Our Mental Health” focused on how successive natural disasters around the country, including wildfires in California, are impacting the mental health of Americans. 

NPR Journalist Sharon Pruitt-Young wrote that, “A poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association last year showed that nearly 70% of adults in the country are at least somewhat anxious about what climate change will do to the planet, and slightly more than half are worried about what toll that will take on their mental health.” Other recent articles from NPR and NBC have also been reporting on increasing feelings of climate anxiety among the American public. 

The Caldor Fire viewed from above, Image by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In the last few weeks Katie’s family was impacted by both the Caldor Fire in Lake Tahoe, as well as Hurricane Ida on the East Coast. She told NPR that she wonders “if anywhere is safe” from the impacts of climate change. Working as a wildfire planner while her family was evacuated from Lake Tahoe was particularly challenging for Katie. However, she is proud to work with an organization like CWPC that is building community wildfire resilience in the face of climate change; helping to keep families, including her own, safe into the future.