“I worked on US Forest Service and BLM fire crews from the mid-1970s to early 1980s, until my career ended abruptly after an injury. Devastating. Forced to rebuild my life, I ended up in college and earned both an undergraduate and masters degree. Life continued to be challenging, and in 2005, I again found myself rebuilding my life. Was this easy? No way. I had to tap into a strength I didn't know I had to survive.
In 2010 I decided to write a memoir about my life as a woman on a fire crew, and the subsequent events that changed my life forever. My book, Summers of Fire: A Memoir of Adventure, Love, and Courage, published with Bedazzled Ink Publishing in May 2018.
When working on my book, I created a blog about my journey in the writing and publishing world and wrote posts about women who were 'firsts' in achievements, as well as those working in men's fields. How delightful to have women contact me to express their appreciation for my entering the firefighting world early on, with many of them telling me how very difficult it must have been back then--more so than now. However, once we connected, I discovered (and soon learned by reading of your challenges, too) that things are not better for women on fire crews now, but much worse! While I faced sexist comments and innuendos, outright discrimination and the holding back of career advancement, I don't remember hearing about any women who were sexually assaulted. It could be they were too scared to speak up, but to be honest, I don't think men were that brave back then. Why haven't things gotten better? I have some thoughts on that.” - Linda
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