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Iowa Firefighters Reflect On Fighting Wildland Fires

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

The past two years have been historically devastating for wildfires.

Nate Weiner has been a firefighter for about 10 years. Currently, he’s squad leader for what’s called a helitack crew based in Boise, Idaho. Weiner’s squad can respond rapidly, as they’re transported by helicopter to wildfires.

Liam Kieffer of Iowa City is part of an engine crew based in Montana. Kieffer spent his first summer out west in 2020. He is also host Ben Kieffer's son.

This episode originally was originally produced in December 2020.


  • Nate Weiner, squad leader on the Boise helitack crew, Boise, Idaho
  • Liam Kieffer, U.S. Forest Service
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River