When wildfires strike, Andrew Whelton goes into action

Purdue engineering professor Andrew Whelton is driven to help people. He found an opportunity to do that through disaster response. 

When communities are hit by devastating wildfires, water contamination can delay their recovery. Whelton, a water quality expert, provides guidance and testing that help local governments and townspeople understand the path back toward normalcy. 

In this short film from its series “The Climate and Us,” BBC StoryWorks features Whelton’s efforts to help citizens in Louisville and Superior, Colorado, in the wake of the Marshall Fire. 

“After a disaster like the fire, you flail around looking for resources,” Marshall Fire survivor John Wilkens says in the film. “To have Andy come into our lives, unrequested, was an amazing experience because it not only showed us the damage the fire did to our water system, but it provided a road map to get us out of that situation.”