If they're holding your feet to the fire to light the kindling and make the logs crackle, hold your face to the fire--at a safe, 20" distance--to get it done. Epiphany Outdoor Gear's V3-Pocket Bellows is a modern take on an ancient fire-starting technique, a telescopic hand tool for adding oxygen to fledgling sparks without singing off your eyelashes.
The Pocket Bellows collapses to just 3-1/2" long and packs into an included water-resistant carrying case. During use it will compress and focus your breath directly into the core of the emerging fire, allowing it to grow quickly but without risk of soot / ash / spark inhalation. The stainless steel straw works on both wet and dry firewood.