Community Fire Jam Town Hall Notes

Desert BlackFire Committee, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

For your review, meeting notes from the 2022 Community Fire Jam Town Hall! A recording of meeting can also be found on our YouTube channel here. If there are any other questions or comments you’d like to share, feel free to comment below or send us an email at Thanks to everyone for making this magical community what it is!

Many thanks to everyone for coming (and to Ariana for making the slideshow!)

We’d like to start by thanking the founding and current members of the Fire Committee! Big thanks to:

Aetheria de Fleury (Check-in Lead)
Ariana Stokes (Set up and Tear down)
Arlene Smith (Executive Director)
BJ Burg (Board Chair)
Corey Webb (Fuel Safety & Fuel Depot Lead)
Desert Black (Founding Committee Chair)
Drew Bowen (Fuel Safety Lead)
Harley Macdonald (Founding Member)
Louise Cassell (Founding Member)
Zee Parker (Fire Committee Chair)

We appreciate you!

Thank you to ALL of our volunteers! We really could not do this without an entire community of people who come out early, stay late, and give some of their own time at each event to keep each other safe.

Last year’s stats:

7 total events
3 locations (Two at Gas Works Park, one at Magnuson park)
239 total sign ups
135 total attendees (!!!)
Event with highest attendance: 53
Event with lowest attendance: 32
Pronoun breakdowns: Majority of pronouns are she/her, and he/him folks make up about 30% of our attendance. The rest of us are some flavor of non-binary, which we think is great! We’re so glad that people of all gender expressions feel welcome at our events.
Prop breakdown: Staff is the most popular! Followed by poi, then hoop.
Total donations: $2,500
Total expenses: $8,000
Highest donations at one event: $361
Lowest donations at one event: $208
Cost is about $700 per event ($300-500 for park permits, $150 equipment rental, $200 fuel [~10 gallons per event])
Suggest donation is $10-35
We plan to apply for grants to help with funding for future events

Changes for this year:

We’re working on a new layout! We’re still planning to be under the covered area at Gas Works Park.
Safe space to store props and extra seating for fire spinners away from the audience.

The registered performer area will only be for people who have registered, so friends that are attending the event with you won’t be able to be back there.

More lights.
More accessible exits and prevent the audience from blocking exits.
The fuel depot is getting moved so that there’s less space between where you fuel and where you actually spin fire. The hot zone will be basically the same size.
The exits are being moved so that you can circle back behind the fuel depot. You can also exit at the check in desk entrance area.
Remember not to smoke within the barriers!

Next Event!

Pending approval from the fire marshall, we’re planning for Saturday, March 26th. We have a new fire marshal this year and are hoping to establish a good relationship with them.
We’d like to have 1-2 events per month, but we need your help to make that happen! Events are dependent on how many trained volunteer leads are available.

Feedback & Questions

Q: I’m curious about where the funds that have been raised go. I understand the permits cost money but the location [Gas Works Park] is unregulated and people spin there all the time, so I don’t see why we need to pay money to spin there.

A: The main reason is that our event is a legal permitted event and the renegade jams that happen are illegal. It’s not our place to tell people how they interact with the laws around fire spinning outside of our events, but we think there’s a lot of benefit to having events that we’re allowed to post about publicly. Spinurn, which is a previous fire jam that operated at Gas Works Park for about a decade, was shut down in 2018 due to not having proper permits which was a huge loss for the community. Going through legal channels means that we can host these events without fear of this happening.
Q: Could these events occur in a space that has greater visibility to the public? I think it’d be great to have events in more public spaces that can bring more publicity to the art form and have a bigger impact in the city, like Winterfest for example. I know it costs money and time and energy, but it’d make me feel better about coming.
A1: There was a lot of consideration that went into where we chose. There was a checklist that included things like parking, access for cars to load and unload, bathroom access, ADA accessibility, and some place covered where we can spin in the rain.
A2: Just to provide some context, Winterfest was an event that Emerald City Dragons was hired to produce and we invited the community to participate with us.
A3: There’s a lot of desire to host events that are inviting to new fire spinners who often are less comfortable spinning at a big public event.
A4: Why not both?! We’d love for us to be able to do events at Gas Works in a more private area that feels like home for many of us, but also think that there’s a lot of benefit to hosting fire jams in more public spaces to get that publicity you’re talking about. Having more lead volunteers would make this much more likely to happen.

Q: Is there a way that people who show up just on the day of the event but didn’t register can spin fire anyway? People who show up to spin but can’t are less inclined to go back.

A: There’s only so much we can do about the process because it’s what we’re required to do by the fire marshall, and registering in advance is one of those steps. That said, we’re interested in removing barriers overall to make it easier for people to participate, so thanks for giving us that feedback! We can’t make any promises that things will change but we’ll keep talking about it.

Q: How can I get more involved?

A: Reach out to us at to learn about how to attend Fire Committee meetings or to inquire about being trained as a lead volunteer. We’d love to have you!

Q: How can I stay informed?

A: Our website is, where you can find our calendar and sign up for our monthly(ish) newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and we’re in the process of setting up a Discord server as well.

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