This data publication contains transcripts from 74 videotaped or audiotaped interviews of highly experienced wildland fire managers that were conducted between 2006 and 2009. These experts have extensive expertise in prescribed fire, fire behavior prediction and wildland fire use. They represented mainly USDA Forest Service and National Park Service fire agencies, and most positional levels within these fire organizations and most geographical sections of the United States. Included is an one interview with an international fire behavior prediction expert from Canada. After providing brief biographical information, interviewees were asked to describe a challenge they had worked through in their fire management careers. Follow-up questions attempted to solicit the particular skill sets, cognitive and managerial, the subjects used to solve or to work-through the challenge they chose to talk about. This set of skills was considered to be part of their "deep smarts".