Meet an Iowan Fighting Wildfires Out West

Mar 21, 2018

Every year, thousands of fires destroy millions of acres of wilderness.

Credit Courtesy of Nate Weiner

“It sounds like a freight train going through the woods,” says wildland firefighter Nathan Weiner, describing the experience of fighting one of his first wildfires.

“We get plugged in off the side of the road, we’ve got aircraft flying overhead, and there’s a hundred foot flames screaming up the hill. It’s just that wild moment where you realize how small you are in the world.”

Weiner grew up in in Iowa and now lives in Boise, Idaho. He works as part of a crew aboard a Blackhawk helicopter to fight wild fires. On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Weiner about his career as he’s in Iowa taking a break from deployment.