Fire Since Time Immemorial: An Indigenous Fire Chronology for Western Oregon

Primary tabs

Program Type:


Program Description

Event Details

Please register here for this free, virtual event.

Increasing incidences of large wildfires have encouraged Oregon fire planners to consider the use of fire through the centuries. Indigenous people of this place have ancient traditions of burning the land for ecological and human benefits. From creation stories to present use of putting fire on the land, all contribute to fire being a part of the identity of this place. A survey of creation stories, oral histories, and more recent archaeological studies, macro botanical analysis, and dendrochronology will be shared.

This event, Fire Since Time Immemorial, will feature the following presenters:

  • David HarrelsonCultural Resources Department Manager Grand Ronde Tribes. David is a Grand Ronde tribal member raised by a mountaineer and grandparents who worked in Education and Healthcare. Among his Oregon ancestors he counts a Kalapuya headman. A graduate of Lewis & Clark College with a Bachelor of Arts in History, his personal and research interests include ethnobotany, contact era Pacific Northwest History, fire as a tool for land management, and Western Oregon indigenous art. David has worked in the field of cultural resources for 10 years and as a wildland firefighter. He currently serves on the Oregon State Advisory Committee for Historic Preservation and the Oregon Arts Commission.

  • Dustin HawksCultural Resource Protection Specialist in the Tribes Historic Preservation Office. Dustin is a Grand Ronde tribal member from the LaChance family. He was born in Astoria, Oregon, raised in the surrounding coastal towns. His work is divided between cultural resources responsibilities and team boss for the Tribe’s Wildland Fire Program. He has developed strategies of mutual support and collaboration between the programs. His primary interests focus on the integration of social actions, cultural identity, and resilience.

  • Amanda RauAssistant Professor of Practice – Willamette Valley/Cascades Regional Fire Specialist, Oregon State University Extension Service. Amanda started her career in fire management as a member of a 20-person firefighting handcrew based in Springfield. After finishing her BA at the University of Oregon, she worked on hotshot crews, handcrews, and engines; as a fuels technician on the Deschutes National Forest; and assistant fire management officer in fuels management on the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland. Amanda completed a Masters in Natural Resources, Fire Ecology, and Management at the University of Idaho and worked for the Bureau of Land Management as a natural resource specialist coordinating post-fire emergency stabilization and rehabilitation. She co-founded and chaired the Oregon Prescribed Fire Council; and was fire manager for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon and Washington. She is now with Oregon State University’s Forestry and Natural Resources and Extension Fire Program as a Regional Fire Specialist serving the Willamette Valley and North Cascades.

This event is part of the Champinefu Webinar Series. Each event will compare and contrast the perspectives and functionalities of two cultural interpretations of the issues. More information and links to register for the additional events in the series are below:

This event of the Champinefu Webinar Series is co-sponsored by the Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, Spring Creek Project, and Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

For any questions, contact Dave Eckert: