Presentation: The Smokey Generation


The Power of Stories – Tragedies and Close Calls


“Storytelling– history – probably originated around an open fire. But there is something very peculiar about such storytelling when fire is itself the object of the story…There are good reasons why so many myths end their universe with fire, and why a scholarship that seeks an alliance with fire must accept the unpredictable and the dangerous.” 

– Stephen J. Pyne,  World Fire: The Culture of Fire On Earth


Thesis Question:
What tropes and schemes do Hotshots most commonly use when describing fire in the environment and what meanings and values are revealed through those figures of speech?

Objective #1:
Create an accessible compilation of oral histories that is available as a body of research for other professionals/academics/historians, as well as accessible to the public as representation of wildland firefighting culture. More…


Objective #2:
Identify and analyze the use of common figures of speech in firefighter stories in order to determine themes and/or patterns about how firefighters view fire in the environment. Analyze the value and meanings that are revealed through the use of tropes and schemes. More…


Objective #3:
Recognizing that an accessible, interactive website like this could become part of the equation that drives the perception of wildland fire, I want to leverage the website to encourage a more balanced acceptance of fire in the environment. More…