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      an inaugural, immersive residency for artists and writers

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Fire operations at a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) outside Ashland, OR.

photo credit: Sasha Michelle White

​As the Pacific Northwest and other regions grapple with the increasing reality of wildfire, the Confluence Lab is working to reimagine shared fire stories.


The Confluence Lab’s inaugural Artists-In-Fire (AIF) residency is supporting 10 artists and writers from the Pacific Northwest and adjacent regions as boots-on-the-ground participants in prescribed fire.


Prescribed fire is the intentional burning of fire-prone landscapes for ecological and cultural benefit, conducted by experienced firefighters during appropriate weather conditions. AIF awardees are training to qualify as Wildland Firefighters Type 2 (FFT2) by completing 40 hours of asynchronous, online training, along with an arduous pack test and practice fire shelter deployment, prior to their prescribed-fire immersion experience. 

Over the course of 2024, each AIF artist and writer will travel individually to participate in a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) or other immersive, prescribed fire experience. These immersions will take place across California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Nebraska, led variously by The Nature Conservancy, the US Forest Service, the Yurok Cultural Fire Management Council, and the Watershed Research and Training Center. Returning home, AIF artists and writers will reflect upon their experiences through their creative practices and share those reflections with their home communities.

creative reflection & community engagement

Alongside the Confluence Lab’s Stories of Fire online exhibitions, the AIF residency seeks to  generate a greater public familiarity with landscape fire, one that is not catastrophic, but intentional, proactive, and participatory. It seeks to demonstrate the possibility that non-professionals can and do participate in prescribed fire, and that community fire-preparedness can encompass more than fuels reduction and home hardening.

Within one month of completing their immersive, prescribed fire experience, the AIF artists and writers will submit a blog post to the Confluence Lab about that experience. Within six months, the AIF participants will share creative work resulting from this experience with their home communities. Whether this is an exhibition, a reading, a community conversation, a podcast, a published piece of writing, or some other creative, public outreach, will be determined by each participant.


Each AIF awardee is receiving a one-time $4000 (USD) stipend to support the time, travel, and material costs associated with the training, prescribed fire immersion, and subsequent creative work development.

introducing our 2024 AIF

Laura Ahola-Young
Pocatello, ID
Sam Chadwick
Moscow, ID
Adam Huggins
Galiano Island, BC, Canada
Erica Meryl-Thomas
Portland, OR
Kylie Mohr
Missoula, MT
Jason Rhodes/the 181
Bend, OR
Rachel Richardson
Berkeley, CA
Doug Tolman
Salt Lake City, UT
Samuel Wildman
Berkeley, CA
Jennifer Yu
Moscow, ID

This residency is in collaboration with:

And made possible by the generous

support of:

For more information, please contact

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