American Wildfire Experience

Fire Foundation

The American Wildfire Experience – – is a passion project founded by our Ambassador, Bethany Hannah, who was also a former wildland firefighter and owner of Wildland Fire Careers. The American Wildfire Experience (AWE) is a small non-profit rooted in understanding, examining, and telling the story of wildland fire. Through multimedia storytelling, oral histories, and other projects and initiatives, AWE works to facilitate dialogue, communication, and education around the challenges and opportunities of our current wildland fire situation in the United States. They believe that sharing scientific data and knowledge tied together with human experience is the best way to tell the story of wildland fire and to have an impact on the way in which wildland fire burns across both our social and ecological landscapes.

AWE’s flagship project, The Smokey Generation— -, was created as part of Bethany's thesis project for her Master of Arts degree in Environmental Studies – with a concentration in wildland fire management and communications. The goal of The Smokey Generation is to collect and share stories from wildland firefighters throughout the country so that we can preserve the history and culture of the wildland firefighting industry and stimulate discussion about wildland fire itself. 

The wildland firefighting industry is rich in experiences, fascinating in its culture, and incredibly insightful about the 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 age, not to mention the great stories from current firefighters at all points in their careers. By donating to AWE, you will enable the wildland community to tap into the fount of knowledge these fascinating firefighters possess – and share these stories for years to come. Help keep these stories alive and donate here!

Through continued support, MYSTERY RANCH helps AWE showcase the wildland fire community in an authentic, meaningful, and unique way, and at the same time, helps to preserve this irreplaceable wildland firefighting history. As we enter into a new fire season to come, look for AWE to bring you great new footage, photos, and stories from the fireline.