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"Forged in Flames" Making the Stories of the 2011 Labor Day Wildfires Available to the Community

September 6, 2012

A view of the Bastrop fire from Highway 71. September 5, 2011.<br/>Photo by Lizzie Chen for KUT News and ReportingTexas.com
A view of the Bastrop fire from Highway 71. September 5, 2011. Photo by Lizzie Chen for KUT News and ReportingTexas.com.

AUSTIN, Texas — KUT News will host "Forged in Flames," a community forum on making the stories of the 2011 Labor Day wildfires available to the community.

This event, which is free and open to the public, will feature KUT News Director Emily Donahue, StateImpact Texas reporter Mose Buchele and Erin Purdy of The University of Texas at Austin's Briscoe Center for American History discussing the process for collecting the stories of the 2011 Labor Day wildfires and making them available to the community.

When: 6-7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 10, 2012

Where: The KUT Public Media Studios, 300 W. Dean Keeton St. (northeast corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton streets)

Background: KUT News commemorated one of the biggest stories of our time — the 2011 Labor Day wildfires — with an oral history documentary and interactive website "Forged in Flames: An Oral History of the Labor Day Wildfires."

"Forged in Flames" tells the stories of the Bastrop, Steiner Ranch and Spicewood wildfires in the words of those who fought and those who survived the flames. KUT News reporters, producers and interns spent the past year building long-term relationships with residents while conducting in-depth interviews to capture their stories. The interactive website features a historical timeline, audio clips, interview transcripts, first-person essays, photos, maps, videos and links to news stories about the fires. This online archive will serve as a living history of the wildfires and will become richer as KUT News continues to collect interviews and cover news events for this ongoing story.

The full interviews and related records of the "Forged in Flames" project will become part of the permanent collection at The University of Texas at Austin’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. As part of the Briscoe Center’s archival holdings, the project materials will be preserved and made accessible to researchers for a wide range of academic, professional and personal uses.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, College of Communication, (512) 475-8071.

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