Truth to Power Podcast: An Unnatural Disaster


Isadora Millay

The word “Spirited” persists on the side of a metal shed in the midst of the Almeda fire devastation.

You can listen to “AN UNNATURAL DISASTER” on Anchor and Spotify, here:…/AN-UNNATURAL-DISASTER-part-1-of-the…

Truth to Power releases AN UNNATURAL DISASTER, in remembrance and commemoration of the Almeda fire and its fallout. This podcast focuses on 4 community members’ stories as they experienced unprecedented tragedy, with a special emphasis featuring reflections about the experiences of our Latinx community. 

Beginning with a woven story of each interviewee’s experience during the day of the fire, AN UNNATURAL DISASTER explores the immediate effects of Almeda, along with reflections on how the community responded, how those displaced from the fire are moving forward, and what caused Almeda in the first place. 

AN UNNATURAL DISASTER combines the narratives of 4 households: Ashland High School teacher, Jamie Hirsh, and her son, Asa; Spiritual counselor Sylvia Poareo; community activist Yahaira Padilla who led the El Tapatio relief center with her family; and hair salon owner Edythe Westbrook. 

The interviewees tell an honest and heartbreaking story of trauma and healing, displacement and community. AN UNNATURAL DISASTER combines a diversity of stories that range from the struggles of having an uninsured house burn to the ground to being an undocumented immigrant who lost all material ties; to balancing being a single mom on top of losing a home; to how powerful support systems can be; and to how community comes together to help those displaced. 

AN UNNATURAL DISASTER is part 1 of the Almeda Fire series. Stay tuned for part 2, a teen-telling of evacuation, in the coming weeks! And at the end of the month, part 3 of the Almeda Fire series–THE OVERWHELM–will continue the story told in AN UNNATURAL DISASTER


**This podcast contains wildfire trauma, and profanity**

Citations mentioned in the podcast: 

The Washington Post “12 hours inside Oregon’s Almeda Fire”,

National Geographic “The science connecting wildfires to climate change”,