The Smokey Generation

Help tell the stories of wildland fire! Capturing, preserving, and sharing compelling firefighter stories, oral histories, and more…

We discovered The Smokey Generation project on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. It was founded in 2014 by Bethany Hannah, former USFS and BLM Hotshot firefighter and EMT to help tell the stories of wildland fire. WATERAX is proud to support The Smokey Generation in its mission to collect, preserve, and share the stories of wildland firefighters by donating 500$ to her project and helping Bethany reach her goal of 4000$.

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 collections 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.