The Fire Stories Campaign

$2,150 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 19 months
The Smokey Generation is embarking on our first ever 'Fire Stories' road trip and we need your support! In an effort to build out our collection of wildland fire stories and oral histories, Bethany, founder of the project, is hitting the road to collect interviews in Idaho, Oregon, and California starting on Friday, April 7, 2017.  We're so excited to be interviewing folks from all areas of the wildland fire community - from people just starting their careers, to folks enjoying their retirements. In fact, we're honored to be scheduled to capture some stories from a 100-year-old former smokejumper who was part of building the smokejumping program in the early 1940s!  How cool is that?!

[UPDATE: We were able to reach our initial goal in just over one day!  Thank you so much for your support! We're raising our goal to $2000 - any extra funds beyond covering travel expenses for the Fire Stories Road Trip will go towards post-production work and, if the campaign really exceeds expectations, we hope to be able to travel to Wyoming in a few weeks to attend the Wyoming Interagency Hotshots' 50th anniversary to collect stories and interviews during that gathering. Every dollar will go towards capturing, preserving, and sharing the stories and history of wildland fire!]

What is The Smokey Generation?  The Smokey Generation is an oral history and digital storytelling project dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories and history of wildland fire.  We are passionate about the wildland fire community and culture, celebrating it everyday. We are excited about communicating the beneficial role of fire in the environment and encouraging conversations about how to better use fire as a land management tool. We are committed to giving a voice to wildland fire and fire practitioners in a way that honors our history and proudly demonstrates our relationship to fire and the natural world.  Check us out at:

This GoFundMe campaign is focused on securing funding to cover lodging during our inaugural 'Fire Stories' road trip.  Bethany be interviewing individuals en route and attending ‘Fire Story’ gatherings put together by local hosts along the way.  Wherever she can, she'll be staying with friends, but she’ll need to stay in hotels for a majority of the two-week trip.  Hotels add up.  This is where your support comes in!

Why should you support this campaign?
Become part of the story!  Your contribution will help us preserve irreplaceable wildland firefighting history. The wildland firefighting industry is rich in experiences, fascinating in its culture, and incredibly insightful about role of fire in the environment. There are so many skilled and gifted wildland firefighters and leaders whose stories we risk losing due to illness and/or age, not to mention the great stories from current firefighters at all points in their careers. Your contribution will enable us to tap into the fount of knowledge these fascinating firefighters possess - and share these stories for years to come.

Why is The Smokey Generation special?
By using digital storytelling techniques, builds context around wildland firefighting. Unlike many oral history collections, which are limited to audio recordings archived in libraries, our interviews are filmed, edited, and presented in a format perfectly suited to the internet medium - at the click of a button, folks around the globe can access engaging, approachable segments and participate in the greater narrative of wildland fire.

Storytelling and oral history are traditions as old as civilization itself and the stories in this collection are, and will remain, available to the public, scholars, and current/future generations of wildland firefighters for years to come. With these stories at our fingertips, we have an opportunity to examine our relationship with the natural world, exploring the important role wildland fire plays in keeping our landscapes healthy and beautiful.

Many people only experience wildland fire through the media or when their homes or properties are affected, but wildland fire deserves to be given context outside of these emergencies. By sharing the stories of wildland fire professionals, we're able to educate ourselves about the broader reality of wildland fire. The stories are out there, it's just a matter of capturing them in a way that can be shared. Engaging stories, living history, accessible content -- just waiting to be told, shared, and preserved.

Want to learn more about the project?
The Smokey Generation is growing and evolving everyday, including becoming a part of a new non-profit called The American Wildfire Experience. Check out our website and social media platforms to learn more: | Facebook  | Instagram  | Twitter

Here are a few of The Smokey Generation's videos:
"Introducing The Smokey Generation"

"The Smokejumper Collection"

"Fires and Bears in Alaska"

"A Transformative Experience"

"Rescue Jumps and Tragedy"

"Spiking out in Yosemite"

"Firing Operations"

Thank you so much for your support!  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Bethany at bethany [at ]

Please note: Any additional funds collected beyond covering basic travel costs will go toward post-production efforts (e.g., hundreds of hours go into editing, cataloguing, and posting the videos, stories, and histories).

The Smokey Generation is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by any federal or state agency. The views expressed in the stories and videos on the site are those of the participant’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Smokey Generation, its sponsors, the participant’s employers, or other associates.

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I just wanted to post a final update for this campaign. The 'Fire Stories' Road Trip was a great success and we're working on editing the interviews now (our collection is nearing 100 interviews!). In the coming months, I'll be sharing the interviews and stories we collected during this trip on the website ( and on our social media sites. Additionally, stay tuned for exciting news as we move forward with new initiatives and projects.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. It means the world!

Many thanks,

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WooHoo!!! We've reached our (increased) goal and I'm so excited to start sharing the stories collected during our first ever 'Fire Stories' Road Trip! More coming soon!!!

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Hello! For those of you who aren't following on Facebook, I thought I'd share a couple of videos of our 'Fire Stories' Road Trip Journey. The trip was a great success and I'm looking forward to sharing the interviews I gathered in the coming months. Thanks so much for your support! - Bethany
‘Fire Stories’ Road Trip - Day One
‘Fire Stories’ Road Trip - Day Five
‘Fire Stories’ Road Trip - Days 11-13
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$2,150 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 19 months
Created April 4, 2017
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18 months ago

On behalf of the Association, we would like to thank you for your support and your never ending enthusiasm in preserving our past.

19 months ago
David Snyder
19 months ago

Keep up the good work sharing the stories. I know I've got my stories and scars!! P.S. You oughta make a promo/fund-raiser sleeve patch out of your logo!

Delcie Peters
19 months ago

Hope you make it to Wyoming!

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