About the book and where to purchase

I am one of the first women hired on a U.S. Forest Service fire crew. A naïve twenty-year-old in the mid 1970s, I had no idea that I was entering a strictly man’s world, and soon discovered fighting wildfires was just one of the challenges I would face.

Summers of Fire, A Memoir of Adventure, Love and Courage, told with honest emotion, goes beyond battling fires and discrimination—it is a vibrant story of unwavering perseverance.


"Linda has captured her struggles as a woman on a fire crew.  It has taken many years, since Linda was part of male dominance that thought only men could do the arduous job of suppressing wildfires, to realize that women are a very integral part of fire suppression.  Being a crewmember with Linda years ago helped me realize that we all can do the job."

"Your memoir is more than what it was like for a female to serve on a fire crew. I think your book would appeal to large audiences."

"The book is a welcome addition to a growing literature of fire memoirs."

"I just finished the book and I loved it. I shed a few tears at the end. I remember you telling me about your knee surgery when we worked together but didn't realize just how much you suffered. I'm so happy for you and your current life and proud of what you accomplished in your early years. You are a pioneer or as some might say a "willa cather woman"! I think your story would make a perfect Lifetime movie and I hope someone approaches you so it can happen."

A special thank you to Circle of Books for their review!



Ruth O. said...

It is so amazing in this day that the discrimination toward female firefighters still persists. Perhaps opportunities will improve just as it has for women in the armed services. It has been delightful to have a first-hand account of a woman firefighter!

Frank Babb, Author Hot Times in Panama said...

I just finished reading an advance copy of Linda Strader’s book Summers of Fire. I read it over a long weekend because I couldn’t put it down once I started.

Those of us living in the Southwest were horrified last June by the tragedy when 19 firefighters died in the furious wild fire near Yarnell, Arizona. The news articles told the public about the dangers firefighters encounter and the conditions under which they work. Fires are treacherous, they can spread faster than a firefighter in superb condition can run, they suddenly appear behind you, and death is always present as we learned from Yarnell. I wondered what kind of people undertake this dangerous work, how do they train for it, and what’s it like to be on a true “firing line.”

Linda’s book answered these questions and more. Starting in 1976 for seven summers she worked for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management serving on fire suppression crews from Arizona to Alaska. As one of first women on a fire crew, she had to prove to the previously exclusive male members of the fraternity that she could do everything they did as well as they could do it and in time lead them into action. In addition to the hazards of her job she put up with discrimination from some of her co-workers, even when they admitted she was as good as they. She resigned from the Service because of work related knee injuries.

Summers of Fire is well written, the stories of her experiences told through conversations with her teammates both on and off the job and her graphic ability to convey to the reader what was going on in her mind while things were happening. You can read the first chapter on her website. I’ve urged her to let you read the second chapter, too. You’ll enjoy it!