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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:320
  • eBook ISBN:9798350916720
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350916713

The Fire Within

A History of Women Wildland Firefighters in the United States

by Carol Henson

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It's been said that America's wildland firefighters have earned a reputation for being among the best wildland firefighters in the world. Historically considered a male-only occupation, women have a long and varied history in wildland firefighting documented back at least to the 1600s. They've served in various capacities throughout the United States on the fireline on hotshot crews, engine crews, smokejumpers, helicopter crews, pilots (both fixed and rotor wing), prevention, patrol, and on incident management teams. Although the story of women in wildland fire is not a new story, it is a story not yet well documented - until now. 


The Fire Within is an unforgettable journey into the lives of the women who battled wildfires in our nation's forests and wildlands. It will tell the story of women who stepped into non-traditional roles to pursue their dreams of fighting wildfire, working outdoors, seeking adventure and a challenging profession, or fulfilling a sense of duty. Through their eyes and in their own voices, you will hear stories from these remarkable women. They will share who they are, why they fought fire, how they got started, how they dealt with nature's extreme elements, and how they persevered. These dedicated women, like their male counterparts, have endured 16+ hour shifts of exhausting work in extreme environments, lived under harsh conditions with long separations from home and family to protect our nation's communities and natural resources from devastating wildfires. These are their stories.

About the author
When she was nine years old, Carol Henson dreamed of fighting wildland fires. In 1978, after graduating from high school, she pursued her dream and began a career as a wildland firefighter with the United States Forest Service. She worked her way up through the wildland fire profession on engines and hotshot crews, serving as an engine captain, hotshot captain, battalion chief, forest fuels and prescribed fire manager then to fire management specialist, where she retired after almost 30 years. Carol has fought hundreds of wildfires in various capacities across the United States. After retirement, Carol opened a successful wildfire consulting business, helping communities with their wildfire planning efforts. She closed her business of ten years to document the history of women wildland firefighters in the United States. The Fire Within is her first book.