A captivating memoir of trailblazing and firefighting from a pioneering woman in a male-dominated field
When Clare Frank was 17 years old, she became a firefighter in Northern California. Clare was five foot two and officially too young to join the service—she left her birthdate blank on her paperwork, hoping no one would notice. And she didn’t look like her peers, who sported an Adam’s apple and a mustache. But her brother was a firefighter and loved it, so she thought she’d try it out, too. Very soon, she knew she had found her calling.
Burnt is Clare’s inspiring, richly detailed, and open-hearted account of an extraordinary life in fire. It chronicles the transformation of a young adult determined to prove her mettle into a scarred and sensitive veteran, grappling with the weight of her duties as chief of fire protection—one of the highest-ranking women in Cal Fire history—while record-setting fires engulf her home state.
Mentors and managing, funerals and scandal, pickup basketball, car crashes, and always fire—no one has written about this world, from this perspective, like Clare Frank. She masterfully mixes irreverence and awe, taking readers inside station houses, on daily calls, and along on wildfire campaigns where antics and dark humor balance terrifying risk, trauma, and a sense of almost holy responsibility. Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire is an unforgettable memoir from an American original.