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A panorama of a cloud of smoke

Mullen Days - Oct 13, 15 & 16

The transformative power of fire | Laramie's human and natural communities

 

An ashy burned forest
Burned forest with grass
A burned forest in snow

 


 

Thursday, October 13th

Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium (click here for google maps)

6:30pm—The critically acclaimed documentary “ELEMENTAL: Reimagining Our Relationship With Fire” will be shown in the UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium. “ELEMENTAL” includes the voices of climate experts, Indigenous people and fire survivors, and “asks us to reimagine our relationship with wildfire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future.”

“In a visually stunning manner, ‘ELEMENTAL’ distills what we have learned about wildland fire over the decades and provides a roadmap for badly needed changes that will benefit thousands of people, particularly in fire-prone communities,” says Michael Dombeck, former U.S. Forest Service chief.


Saturday, October 15th

The Collective, 100 s 2nd St, Laramie, WY

1-4pm: Interactive open house, art & education

  • See time-lapse photography of fire recovery

  • Make pinch pots with clay from the burn zone

  • Experiment with charcoal drawings

  • Make block prints of fire-affected mammals

  • Leave a memory and photo on the community wall

  • Learn about wildland firefighting workwear

  • Hear results from community monitoring of the burn zone

  • Learn what to do for fire recovery on your property

  • Hear about work opportunities in the Mullen burn zone

  • Drink fresh, foraged tea from the burn zone

  • Take home a pocket guide to five wildflowers of the burn zone

4-5pm: Panel discussion on different relationships to fire

  • Evan Barrientos, an artist documenting and observing fire recovery

  • Wes Martel (invited), Senior Wind River Conservation Advocate

  • Brent Ewers, botanist and director of the Biodiversity Institute

  • Amber Travsky, wildlife biologist, freelance writer, fire nerd

5-6pm: Social hour, beer, snacks, food truck

6-7pm: Storytelling, Tales at the Taphouse, "Living with Fire"

wildflower-zine-narrow.jpg


Sunday, October 16th 

Community Reflection Hike through the Burn

Join licensed professional counselor Stephanie Hanson and the staff of Healing Hikes (UW counseling interns, Alexandra Quinn Parmely, Kit Freedman, and Ryan Boysen) for a guided reflection experience at the burn site of the Mullen Fire. Participants will be invited, but not required, to reflect and process personal and community-wide impacts of the Mullen Fire using journaling conversation prompts, time in silence, and mindfulness. We'll consider what has been lost, what has been gained, and how we can approach our future with fire.

10am: Meet at The Collective (100 S 2nd St) for a cup of coffee and to arrange carpools. If you can give a ride, please bring your car. If you don't have a ride, please come and we will find one for you.

11am: Depart from Lincoln Gulch trailhead. (41.109669, -106.149322) It's opening weekend of open season so please WEAR ORANGE, and bring orange. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for Laramie's unpredicatable fall weather.

1pm: Back in town. This is an estimate, please drive separately if you have a hard deadline. 

 

Directions: If you plan to meet the group at the trailhead, you can navigate to (41.109669, -106.149322). Or, from Laramie, take 230 past Woods Landing and turn off the paved road at signs for Fox Park. Follow the dirt road past Fox Park (clearly marked), then, about a quarter mile past Fox Park turn right onto Forest Service road 517. Take this until you see Lincoln Gulch trailhead (clearly marked). There is ample parking there, a vault toilet, and the road is great. 


 Why are We Gathering?

 

In the fall of 2020, the Mullen Fire burned more than 170,000 acres in and around the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest just west of Laramie, Wyoming. In addition, it consumed 63 structures, around half of which were homes, and forced the communities of Albany, Keystone, Lake Creek, Miller Lake, Fox Park, and Foxborough to evacuate. Those of us living in Laramie at the time might recall the yellowed skies, the advisories to stay inside, and the ash falling from the sky. 

It was shared experience, one that made the idea of living with wildfire very real. For some, it may have been the first time climate change felt personal.

By the end of October, several feet of snow and a month of firefighting had the burn almost entirely contained. Evacuation orders were lifted, roads re-opened, and for those of us not working or living directly with the aftermath, the Mullen Fire was over. Two years passed, and where are we now? 

A vegetated river going through a burn zone

Mullen Days attempts to answer this question. Using art, science, and other ways of knowing this community-centered event is a space to process, grieve, learn, and re-imagine what living with fire means. It it interdisciplinary, interactive, free, and open to the public. We hope to see you there.  


 

Thanks to our partners and contributors— 

Sadie Winter Studios, Tales at the Taphouse, The Collective, Laramie Public Art Coalition, Monteith Shop, Biodiversity Institute, 4th Street Studios - Science Loves Art, Glow Workwear, Barnyards and Backyards, Wyoming Conservation Corps and Coal Creek Taphouse.

Wild strawberries with rain drops on them
Arnica in a burn zone

 

CALL FOR STORYTELLERS

Fireweed blooming
Theme: Living with Fire
Contact: talesatthetaphouse@gmail.com

Prompts: Do you remember when you first heard about or encountered wildfire? What was living through the Mullen fire like? How has fire changed the way you think about your community or the future? How has the Mullen fire and Med Bow National Forest been a part of your life before, during, or after the burn? Have you interacted with the burn zone? How does the landscape recover from fire? How do we? How does the landscape respond to fire? How do we? What are you grieving? What have you gained? 

Learn more ->


Can't wait? See what's happening on Instagram

@mullendays | @haub.school | @talesatthetaphouse
Contact Us

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Bim Kendall House

804 E Fremont St

Laramie, WY 82072

Phone: (307) 766-5080

Fax: (307) 766-5099

Email: haub.school@uwyo.edu

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