2 pm | SATURDAY, MAY 19
Linda Strader recalls the danger, romance, and personal and physical challenges in her true-life pioneering adventure as one of the first women to fight forest fires for the U.S. Government in Summers of Fire. In 1976, the job of Forest Service firefighter is male-dominated, not because women aren’t interested in it, but because the Forest Service didn’t allow women on fire crews until 1975. Join the author as she recounts her facinating true story.
About the Book
Linda Strader is one of the first women hired on a fire crew with the U.S. Forest Service. A naïve twenty- year-old in the mid-1970s, Strader discovers fighting wildfires is challenging—but in a man’s world, they became only one of the challenges she would face. Battling fire is exhilarating, yet exhausting; the discrimination real and sometimes in her face. Summers of Fire is an adventure story that honestly recounts the seven years she ventures into the heart of fires that scorch the land, vibrant friendships that fire the soul, and deep love that ends in devastating heartbreak. “If someone had told me I’d write a book, I would’ve told them they had mistaken me for someone else. For a real writer,” Strader admits. “A new neighbor spotted on a wall a collage of photos depicting my firefighting days. When I told him I used to be a Forest Service firefighter, he was impressed, and suggested I write a book about my adventures. Thanks to my detailed personal journals, I had plenty of material.”
Summers of Fire is an insider look at a daunting profession that seems to be increasingly on display as wild fires consume a drought-ridden western United States. It is a must read for anyone who wonders what it’s like to run toward a towering wall of flames that everyone else is fleeing. As a women in a male-dominated world, Strader not only battles fires, but challenges discrimination, lives and works in beautiful wilderness areas, experiences love, heartache, and loss, while pursuing the career she loves.
About the Author
Linda Strader is a landscape architect in southern Arizona, the very same area where she became one of the first women on a Forest Service fire crew in 1976. Her publishing history includes many web articles on her expertise of landscaping with desert plants. A local newspaper, the Green Valley News, printed an article about her firefighting adventures, which led the magazine, Wildfire Today, to publish an excerpt. The article generated interest in her speaking on this topic to several clubs, including the American Association of University Women. She lives near Tuscson. Learn more about Linda Strader »