We Should Let Some Wildfires Burn

  • Published on Jul 16, 2018
  • In the last few years, wildfires have been getting worse - and, oddly, it's because humans have been preventing them. From a helicopter above the forests of British Columbia, and from the Tree Ring Lab at UBC, let's talk about how we should just let some wildfires burn.
    Thanks to Bradley Friesen! He's about to properly launch his channel 'Destruction by Gravity': tvclip.biz/channel/ucl3kr3kf9w34cuvurxl7agw
    and Mister Bentley the Dog is on Instagram: instagram.com/mrbentley_thedog/
    Thanks to Dr Lori Daniels at the University of British Columbia! Her recent research into wildfires includes:
    Chavardes, R.D., L.D. Daniels, Z. Gedalof, D.W. Andison. (2018). Human influences superseded climate to disrupt the 20th century fire regime in Jasper National Park, Canada. Dendrochronologia 48:10-19.
    and this op-ed in the Globe and Mail: www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/we-created-bcs-wildfire-problem-and-we-can-fix-it/article35686104/
    Thanks to the BC Wildlife Service for letting me use their photos: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status
    Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin)
    Post audio by Emi Paternostro (proximitysound.com)
    I'm at tomscott.com
    on Twitter at twitter.com/tomscott
    on Facebook at facebook.com/tomscott
    and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Comments • 800

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott  7 months ago +649

    Thanks so much to Bradley, and to Dr Daniels. This is the last Monday video from Canada - but I’ll definitely be back in the future.

    • Spectrum
      Spectrum 7 months ago

      Tom Scott thank you for your recent *stories i cant tell* My grandmother was taken to a residential school to convert to Christianity from her (and our) Objibwe traditions and i happens to be a dark side of Canada that many people around the world don’t know about

    • Josh Greening
      Josh Greening 7 months ago

      If you are in Vancouver you should try and see if you could meet up with Linus from the channel Linus Tech Tips. I only say this because you said some other visits/meet-ups didn't work out. With that I only thought you might have spare time?

    • jurassicjunkie
      jurassicjunkie 7 months ago

      So I'm curious, if the fires can help return an ecosystem back to health. What happens if we don't allow firers? From what I understand tree's fight for space and light. Larger tress have already won the fight and smaller ones will never get enough room to grow. So the fires will kill the smaller ones off. Why do we need this? Is it to stop them taking nutrients from the ground and allowing the larger trees to grow a bit more?
      Would love some one to give me a little more information on this.

    • PhantomPhoton
      PhantomPhoton 7 months ago

      BENTLY! The province's most famous flying doggo! Glad you made it out to BC, hope you enjoyed your stay! :-)

    • Tim Degerness
      Tim Degerness 7 months ago

      You ended up at my school and I didn't even realize it? I think I need to work harder at stalking you (jk)

  • Vedant kale
    Vedant kale Month ago

    Isn't it cool to devote your entire life to understanding the forest ecosystem and having a audience at the same time.
    Now that I am done with politeness..... THIS IS THE MOST MUNDANE AND UNDERACHIEVING WAY TO SPEND YOUR LIFE!! Ahh.. That felt good!

  • Zachary White
    Zachary White 2 months ago

    Thanks for this info about wildfires, and also, IT'S MR. BENTLEY!!

  • cncthang
    cncthang 3 months ago

    I know

  • Ann's Words
    Ann's Words 4 months ago

    It's crazy seeing the fire's impact from the sky. I've only really seen some of my province's impacted areas from the roads.

  • Bence Pál
    Bence Pál 4 months ago

    Who noticed the doggo?

  • Fırat Yıldırım
    Fırat Yıldırım 4 months ago

    Who else spotted the dog

  • That Randum Anime Channel

    OOoOooo iam in BC neat

  • Gray Priest
    Gray Priest 4 months ago

    Why's there a dog in the heli?

  • Brendan McCabe
    Brendan McCabe 5 months ago

    Every alien planet sg1 every went to
    “Okay this is epic”

  • A Google User
    A Google User 6 months ago

    Just a small correction, there is a difference between flammable and combustible (what it is classified as depends on the flash point). Wood is combustible, not flammable.

  • Penn
    Penn 6 months ago

    Tempted to say "Hurray, BC Pride!" but I'm stubbornly still keeping my title as a Winnipeg wimp.

  • The Jonin Cactuar
    The Jonin Cactuar 6 months ago

    Hey I recognise Bradley from when Hat Films went to Canada. He took them in his helicopter. He came across as a very very nice guy.

  • SpaceInvasion
    SpaceInvasion 6 months ago

    They let them burn out of control that it's affecting hte daily lives of millions of people in BC, AB and even SK and MB. What a great idea to let them burn...

  • jaceneliot
    jaceneliot 6 months ago +1

    Boba Fett

  • Innarius
    Innarius 6 months ago

    Didn't know Varg can also pilot a helicopter.

  • tyemaddog
    tyemaddog 6 months ago

    I live in south east bc, and every summer for a good month or so the smoke can get soo bad that you can't see far off mountains. Serious health problems too

  • Michel Sfeir
    Michel Sfeir 6 months ago


  • Efreeti
    Efreeti 6 months ago

    Oh this is cool, I think Hat Films did videos with the same helicopter guy on one of their road trips!

  • Berend Blom
    Berend Blom 6 months ago

    Loving the dog in th background

  • ioplup
    ioplup 6 months ago

    Shout out to Bradley for taking Tom and the Hat Films boys up in the sky

  • Tymekx0
    Tymekx0 7 months ago

    Its like a gas cooker
    If you leave it going unlit too long,
    You explode

  • SourLemon
    SourLemon 7 months ago

    Willow did it

  • Harry Todhunter
    Harry Todhunter 7 months ago

    Unfortunate Timing

  • JonatasAdoM
    JonatasAdoM 7 months ago

    Those "dead forests" look astonishing.

  • JonatasAdoM
    JonatasAdoM 7 months ago

    I'll surely check this new born channel! Also what a lovely Boba Fett in the manche!

  • Comrade Dan
    Comrade Dan 7 months ago

    A flying dog of his own naming and he didn't choose Air Bud, ok.

  • Michael W.
    Michael W. 7 months ago


  • Colin Stepney
    Colin Stepney 7 months ago

    It's a bit funny - Tom's series on Canada should be called "Thinks you probably already know if you're Canadian."

  • Harriet de Kok
    Harriet de Kok 7 months ago


  • muploads58
    muploads58 7 months ago

    Hi Tom, I enjoy your videos and appreciate these on my home country of Canada

  • Shorts
    Shorts 7 months ago

    I live next to this 😂

  • Brew
    Brew 7 months ago

    A "very healthy eco system" that can completely wipe out wildlife habitats

  • Electroassassin5
    Electroassassin5 7 months ago

    Tom the Arsonist everybody!!

  • AndersonPEM
    AndersonPEM 7 months ago

    Here in brazil's northern region it's common practice to burn the land from time to time to make it more fertile. Farmers who plant a lot do this seasonally. They set some trees on fire and let it all burn in a specific area. It's a pain in the ass for the cities because the air quality drops a lot in the burning season but it's worth it.

  • Elviondel
    Elviondel 7 months ago

    There’s my favorite helicopter pilot!

  • Aaro R
    Aaro R 7 months ago

    Wildfires get so big because they have no natural predators

  • Marshall Tucker
    Marshall Tucker 7 months ago

    "Stories I can't Tell" a subject we all know to well as Canadians that the government tries to cover up and hide. I'm ashamed of our government... for this

  • Martin Ahlman
    Martin Ahlman 7 months ago

    "Some" fires, not the ones we're having in Sweden right now :-(

  • RunOgre
    RunOgre 7 months ago

    Why are the comments on his newest video out?

  • Truly Infamous
    Truly Infamous 7 months ago

    I just watched a documentary on the 1910 wildfire. I've also been watching many videos about prescribed burns and wildland firefighting.

  • TheQuark6789
    TheQuark6789 7 months ago

    I'm surprised that that was their policy until 2012. So far as I know (and I'm not old enough to know for certain), California has been doing this for decades.

  • zghvbn1
    zghvbn1 7 months ago

    and the wild life?

  • Dave
    Dave 7 months ago

    They kinda get it, but they still don't really understand it, they don't need to do anything, forests have managed themselves for Millennia without human intervention.

  • epic pigeon music industries

    smokey the bear disproves

  • Hector Henry
    Hector Henry 7 months ago

    Hey was in casey neistat blog ones at least the dog.

  • LadyAnuB
    LadyAnuB 7 months ago

    Tom, you need to do a video on this very thing with redwood trees. They can easily endure fires and go on and live after one.
    I am a witness to a hollowed out redwood still being alive after a fire.

  • Liquid Zulu
    Liquid Zulu 7 months ago

    Loving the doggo in the heli.

  • Michelle Kendall
    Michelle Kendall 7 months ago

    Bradley Friesen appeared in a few of Casey Niestat's videos a few years ago.

  • L W
    L W 7 months ago

    It burned 42 times... then we chopped it down.

  • Dominic Young
    Dominic Young 7 months ago

    This is quite similar to how Australia deals with its bushfire issue, back burning we call it.

  • ha goty
    ha goty 7 months ago

    Wish you explored more of Vancouver

  • Woody Enfermo
    Woody Enfermo 7 months ago

    You have very good taste choosing pilots

  • ben dolby
    ben dolby 7 months ago

    If anyone else here watches Hat Films, you already know. DAT BULLDOG.

  • Robert Tucker
    Robert Tucker 7 months ago

    Now I know not to can the police when I see a local chav trying to start a fire.

  • sanityisrelative
    sanityisrelative 7 months ago

    The University of British Columbia has also been a few alien locations in Stargate SG1.

  • Clarence Ho
    Clarence Ho 7 months ago +1

    Stories I can't tell viceland not available in your country

  • The Cereal Guy
    The Cereal Guy 7 months ago +1

    Why comments disabled on the new video? :c

  • RSLak
    RSLak 7 months ago


  • Lemur
    Lemur 7 months ago +1

    Todays video is strange :/

  • ScoutiverTTV
    ScoutiverTTV 7 months ago +2

    Why was the comments disabled on the next video?

  • CupcatLBL Productions
    CupcatLBL Productions 7 months ago +1


  • Rein Van Acker
    Rein Van Acker 7 months ago

    But wouldn't the fire still be very bad for the animals?

  • DeadLink 404
    DeadLink 404 7 months ago +2

    I don't get something about newest video. I mean why are the comments on it and the CBC video disabled? Why is the VICELAND video blocked in germany?
    Is there a part of this that isn't told? Or is this peticularly contentious? If so why?
    This just makes the whole thing questionable to me. Shutting down conversation seeds doubt Tom.

  • Tyler Mcknights Gaming Channel

    the 2003 fire should have been put out!!!

  • Tom5tom Entertainment
    Tom5tom Entertainment 7 months ago +1

    Funny thing is, I was taught this in school years and years ago.

  • Oliver Cation
    Oliver Cation 7 months ago +1

    I thought the concept of backburning was common practice worldwide. In Australia is happens constantly and is generally the main job of the SES to backburn before the peak summer months to reduce potential damage in the event of actual fires, creating containment lines and promoting growth. Isn't California the same as well?

  • Mahissimo
    Mahissimo 7 months ago

    If it's snowy in NY, we all know that global warming is a good thing. Oh and look, the trees burn and are happy about it. We need more CO2!

  • Lang Kuoch
    Lang Kuoch 7 months ago

    We get bad wildfires every summer in BC, so much that entire cities get covered in thick smoke for weeks at a time

  • Daniel Newsome
    Daniel Newsome 7 months ago

    Why is your youtube user "enyay"?

  • yossarian9985
    yossarian9985 7 months ago

    Since the Yellowstone fire of 1988 the US govt has adopted the policy of letting fires burn unless they threaten structures. They also use controlled burns. It is going to take a long time for the excessive, accumulated fuel to be consumed, though.

  • Dan Richardson
    Dan Richardson 7 months ago

    I love Stargate SG-1

  • EoRdE6
    EoRdE6 7 months ago

    Yep we have controlled burns quite frequently, only annoying because the smoke spreads accross town and causes traffic and such

    HAZARATI 7 months ago

    The biggest fires we have in the British Midland's forests are yr 11s burning all their school work at the start of summer

  • Kiralea Swan
    Kiralea Swan 7 months ago

    Open a video about fire with a burn

  • Merz Bois
    Merz Bois 7 months ago +1

    Saw the thumbnail and thought Tom was with Varg Vikerness for a second. Nearly had a heart attack.

  • Murphy
    Murphy 7 months ago

    Wow, great work on the audio editing! I don't think I've seen a helicopter video which sounded clearer than this!
    Also very glad to see this topic getting more attention!

  • Jethro Mahon
    Jethro Mahon 7 months ago

    What about the black Saturday fires in Australia?

  • Dr3aM
    Dr3aM 7 months ago

    Why didn't I get notifications for the last 3 videos WTF

  • Gilbey95
    Gilbey95 7 months ago

    It's actually part of the cycle in Australian forests!

  • Rob Fraser
    Rob Fraser 7 months ago

    I expected this to be about the Saddleworth Moor fire.

  • The Clown
    The Clown 7 months ago

    Tom Scott you do great videos ! At a time where TVclip usually push for longer videos I love the fact you can keep short videos : we always have time to watch them, sometimes multiple times. No boring 5mn commercial/sponsors that no one want to see, very interesting subjects every time. Not too long, not too short, just perfectly smart :) Thanks.

  • Peter Mannion
    Peter Mannion 7 months ago

    Love the Stargate reference

  • dirm12
    dirm12 7 months ago

    "I don't want to be too simplistic but forests are made of wood."
    Mission accomplished Mr. Obvious.

  • Joe Vivian
    Joe Vivian 7 months ago

    Australia’s been doing this for years

  • Khaffit
    Khaffit 7 months ago

    Codys Lab anyone?
    Or William Osman?

  • PuffyRainbowCloud
    PuffyRainbowCloud 7 months ago

    We have a lot of wlldfires in Sweden this year, due to the record high temperatures. The trouble is that a lot of them are close to where people live, and the forests here aren't really managed or adapted to survive fires.

  • David Cruickshank
    David Cruickshank 7 months ago

    I recognise him from hat films!

  • Ryan C
    Ryan C 7 months ago

    Woo UBC!

  • Mellow
    Mellow 7 months ago

    Indigenous Australians have been doing controlled burning for thousands of years

  • Crystal Soulslayer
    Crystal Soulslayer 7 months ago

    Something really similar happened on the West Coast here in Murica. People couldn't figure out why the sequoia population was doing so badly, and it turned out that their tiny little seeds needed forest fires to clear the forest floor in order to take root.

  • Zygmunt The Cacao Kakistocrat

    The problem is, that with climate change, fires are burning hotter and longer, and more frequently - the fire season extends further into spring and autumn, hence damaging even the fire-adapted plants that would have been a buffer against them spreading and combining to produce megafires. Where I live (SE Australia, in a wooded region), we had a statewide fire event in 2009 that killed many plants and animals that would have survived a 'cooler' series of burns. Indigenous knowledge of fire management techniques are being introduced to burn in a 'mosaic' pattern over a cycle of decades, as was practised before European settlement, and this reduceds wildfire risks somewhat, but nowhere near reduces them to a negligible level.

  • Julian Lumb
    Julian Lumb 7 months ago

    Great Vid, Tom. :)
    In Australia we've had prescribed burns for as long as I can remember. My city backs onto a large, mountainous National Park, and a common sight in winter each year is smoke coming from the hills as the program of burns is carried out. The program was increased in response to the 2003 Canberra Bushfires, which tragically caused the loss of hundreds of homes and several lives.

  • onelegout
    onelegout 7 months ago

    When two of your favourite TVcliprs come together. It's like your two favourite bands collaborating. It's fantastic.

    • onelegout
      onelegout 7 months ago

      *three favourite TVcliprs (I just realised Bentley also stars!)

  • doorhanger93
    doorhanger93 7 months ago

    Actually fighting fire with fire, huh

  • Billy Manners
    Billy Manners 7 months ago

    The moors and dales in Yorkshire have a lot of controlled fires of heather, because heather needs fires to remain healthy. They're a lot smaller than in Canada though!

  • AndTheWinnerIs...
    AndTheWinnerIs... 7 months ago

    What is that image on your pilots shirt?

  • Doggone Dean
    Doggone Dean 7 months ago

    We learned this decades ago. WTF happened????

  • christophermiel
    christophermiel 7 months ago

    Always not a good idea of humans to interfer with a ecosystem and stating, that due to human research we know everything about the consequences of our actions (like the nice professor seems to do).

  • Totally Not A Cylon
    Totally Not A Cylon 7 months ago

    It's counterintuitive as to how we as humans see the world, but destruction is inherent to nature.