“Forged in Flames” debuts Sept. 4

Austin’s KUT News radio will debut their hour-long audio documentary and oral history interactive website on the 2011 wildfires on September 4.  The Ristow family was one of over 100 families who participated in the documentary and will also be featured on the website.  For more information read the KUT press release below:



Sharing Our Story with KUT Radio

Studio 1C

Thursday we loaded up the whole family and headed over to the KUT radio studios in the Communications building on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.  We went there to share our fire story for an audio documentary that KUT is producing.

Ann Leifeste and Andy Uhler, reporters with KUT met us and guided us to the recording studio.  Ann interviewed us in Studio 1C.  As we all piled into the small room it was clear who was most at home in front of the microphone:  Matthew sat right down in a chair before a mic and started mouthing words like he was telling his whole story.

As the recording session got underway the whole family contributed to telling our story at various points, including Ben and Matthew.  Ann did a nice job of prompting our story with various questions of all of us.  Her reassuring smile made us feel comfortable throughout the session.

Afterward, she took us by the famed Studio 1A, where various musicians have performed for recordings throughout the years.  That was a nice treat and a glimpse into one of Austin’s famed, but often unknown, spaces.  It was nice for the boys to get to experience a little bit of a radio studio.

The entire family enjoyed the experience.  We would highly encourage other families and individuals affected by the Bastrop fire to participate in this opportunity as well.  The more participation they have the more well-rounded of a documentary they can produce and the greater the diversity of stories about that day that can be heard.   We’re looking forward to hearing the final documentary on KUT.

The documentary is slated to air sometime around September 4, 2012 for the one year anniversary of the Bastrop Complex Fire.

Matthew telling his version of the story.

KUT Radio to Feature Fire Stories

In an effort to document memories of the most destructive fire in Texas history, KUT radio in Austin is recording oral histories of people who were involved with or impacted by the fires of Labor Day weekend 2011.  The end result will be an hour-long radio documentary that will commemorate the event and is expected to air on KUT radio on the anniversary of the event later this year.  Interested individuals can contact the radio station for more information on how to be involved (contact info included in the article at the link below).


We will be sharing our story with the KUT reporters in the coming weeks for the documentary.  I encourage other families and individuals to contact the station and have their stories heard as well.