Internship has “required a big shift” in view of fire
Max Psaledakis has also been impressed with what he has learned during the past nine months. Before the internship, he already had a strong background in wildland firefighting, so “coming into the prescribed fire world has required a big shift in how I viewed fire.”
Psaledakis understands why fire in California has a mixed reputation.
“Being a local and an outdoors professional, I know firsthand how large fires can affect the landscape. My goal with this internship was to start a new chapter and build a positive relationship with fire that I could share with others.”
Before his interest in wildland firefighting, Psaledakis was exposed to fire management at an early age. His father is a volunteer with Glen Ellen Fire Protection District and Psaledakis himself joined the Kenwood Fire Protection District at age 14. “I grew up surrounded by the fire department and attribute a lot of who I am to that,” he says.
When asked what has surprised him most, Psaledakis says that “the community-based volunteerism has been amazing to witness. There’s also a lot more openness to good fire than I imagined. There’s a gentleman we burn with in Lake County who has been working with us and each time we lead prescribed burns with him, he is stoked.”
Special thanks to Eric Radcliffe and Max Psaledakis for taking time to discuss their experience with us, and for their commitment to “good fire” and community. Learn more about the important work that SRJC’s Natural Resources Program and Fire Forward for ways to get involved!