2021 Micro-Grant Recipient: Niall Goard
This summer will be my first season wildland firefighting. After working as a ranch hand in Virginia and a deckhand on a few ships, I decided to dedicate both hands this summer to getting manhandled on a wildfire crew in the northwest. Before, I studied marine ecology at Virginia Tech and researched plankton in the Puget Sound, but I was drawn to any position that would keep my nose down and neck burnt. I had been fascinated with wildfire management for years and finally decided it was time to give it a fair shot. I’m excited to work in a field full of passionate people, each with volumes of experience and stories from the fireline.
Grant Category: Art/Painting
A Fireline Journal
Throughout the fire season I will create a journal comprised of writings, photography, and artwork. I aim to share the raw account of my experience on bound paper filled with handwritten stories supported with paintings, sketches, and photographs. I find these mediums to convey humanity in storytelling in a unique style that sometimes typed and digital photography do not. The texture of the paintings, the dirt smeared across a page, and the strikethroughs with each correction made bring you a step closer into the writer’s world. I hope to bring readers with no fire experience into the forest with me to learn and experience wildfire in the American West as I do too. With this, my goal is to share the story of wildland firefighter’s lives online to garner understanding and support from the public community.
Favorite thing about firefighting:
As a new member of the fire community, my favorite thing so far is the culture of camaraderie and perseverance through hardship. I’m looking forward to the obstacles we will overcome together this summer.