June 29, 2021

Fight Another Fire

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Walker, California

Jay Wilder finds strength in his crew during the 2020 fire season. This song tells the story of the Walker Fire, a blaze in Northeast California that grew tremendously in one night.

Background

In January of 2021, DocSong partnered with @uwjacksoncounty (United Way of Jackson County) to host our first wildfire workshop. We're to share our first song from this project, “Why do I sign back up?” By sharing stories written by those who experienced the 2020 wildfire season firsthand, DocSong hopes to increase empathy and spark activism.

Jay Wilder was the story source for this song. We wrote about his experience with the Walker Fire, an especially fast-growing blaze in Northeastern California last September. Jay spends each summer fighting wildfires—the work is grueling but the strength and camaraderie of his crew keeps him coming back.

Alex Wilder is Jay’s brother, and also the mastermind behind this video. He’s singing, playing guitar, and had some crucial songwriting pointers for us as well. @mayfrench is playing fiddle in the background, and Jamie Oshima is the overdub engineer. It often takes a village to write a song!

Lyrics

Back when I turned 22
I worked a normal day
Dispatched to a burning hill
Through California haze
Why do I sign back up
Why fight another fire

We worked on the road til dark.
Cut the line uphill
Keep running saws we’ll make the ridge
and catch this thing tonight
Why do I sign back up
Why fight another fire

We’re delirious
But when there’s twenty strong
We fuel off each other
Keep pushing on

SOLO!

We thought we were invincible
Then fire jumped the line
Our work is now irrelevant.
vanished in the pines
Why do I sign back up
Why fight another fire

We’re delirious
But when there’s twenty strong
We fuel off each other
Keep pushing on

We built up a tinderbox
Deprived the land fire
It’s time to treat the earth with care
And hear the wakeup call
Hear our wakeup call
Hear my wakeup call
Why do I sign back up
Why fight another fire
Why do I sign back up
Why fight another fire

PERFORMED BY

PRODUCED BY

Jamie Oshima

Video Editing

Alex Wilder

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