2020 Micro-Grant Winner: Kate Averett
I grew up at the base of the mountains in Eastern Oregon, which led me to start my career in fire on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest in 2015. After five years of working in various locations throughout the Northwest, and finally completing my degree at the University of Idaho, I took a job as a senior on the La Grande Hotshots and found myself almost back home where it all began. As the days drag on, I find myself photographing and writing about the seasons as a way to capture the moments in time as they should be remembered. Outside of fire, I spend my time skiing, writing, and chasing the sunshine.
Grant Category: Writing
Impact Award: In Honor of Ralph Langlois
How We Endure: The Toll of a Season
The storytelling I have shared, and will continue to share, has been the thoughts, feelings, and impacts of the fire season on us as firefighters. I will do this mainly through poetry, prose, and photographs to capture and portray the unspoken fears and dangers that wildland fire embraces. Beyond the fears and dangers of our work, we also face experiences that are laced with adrenaline, joy, beauty, and a form of camaraderie that you can’t find many other places, let alone in another line of work. The goal of this project is to capture the vulnerabilities and overall mentality of wildland fire that is often overlooked.
Favorite thing about firefighting:
My favorite thing about wildland fire is the fire family I have created throughout the seasons. I love finding myself on a fire in the middle of nowhere randomly bumping into folks I’ve met in years past. When time permits, I always try to take a moment to catch up and exchange stories.