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Whiteplume collecting tales of Sho-Rap firefighters for book

Feb 11, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Fighting fires can be a dangerous and stimulating experience for a firefighter, and Robin Whiteplume thinks compiling those stories would be the best way to maintain the memories.

Whiteplume said he would like to call all Sho-Rap firefighters and collect their stories and photos to assemble into a book.

"Attention all Sho-Rap firefighters. The forestry warehouse at Fort Washakie is calling for two Sho-Rap firefighting crews to report to the forestry warehouse as soon as possible."

Whiteplume said that message was sent during the summer months to Wind River Indian Reservation residents who had responded to the call for many years.

"Crews were called to fight fires nationwide in the forests, and in 1993 even within the city and beaches of Malibu, Calif.," Whiteplume said. "Over the years, many have left an oral legacy of their seasons fighting fire."

Whiteplume said he would like to gather the lost stories of American Indian firefighters. He said groups of 20 have been dispatched from Fort Washakie and either transported by bus or plane to wherever they were needed.

The stories have been lost as the firefighters have died, Whiteplume explained, but their contributions to communities were immense and are worth having transcribed.

"The Sho-Raps established a respect and reputation known throughout the wildland firefighting community," Whiteplume said. "I wish to keep their legacy alive."

Whiteplume can be reached at 332-7586 or 349-6445.

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Wind River Indian Reservation