Breathing Fire


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A dramatic account of the female inmates who battle California wildfires, Breathing Fire encompasses the underlying catastrophes of climate change, economic disparity and historical injustice.


  • Expands on the revelatory work of author Jaime Lowe for The New York Times Magazine
  • A rare, illuminating look at how California's fire camps actually operate
  • Draws on deeply personal histories, relationships, desires, frustrations and the emotional and physical intensity of firefighting

Made in USA.

From the publisher:
Shawna was overcome by the claustrophobia, the heat, the smoke, the fire—all just down the canyon and up the ravine. She was feeling the adrenaline, but also the terror of doing something for the first time. She knew how to run with a backpack; they had trained her physically. But that's not training for flames. That's not live fire.

California's fire season gets hotter, longer and more extreme every year. Fire season is now year-round. Of the thousands of firefighters who battle California's blazes every year, roughly 30 percent of the on-the-ground wildland crews are inmates earning a dollar an hour. Approximately 200 of those firefighters are women serving on all-female crews.

Author Jamie Lowe has spent years getting to know dozens of women who have participated in the fire camp program and spoken to captains, family and friends, correctional officers and camp commanders. Her reporting is a groundbreaking investigation of the prison system and an intimate portrayal of the women of California's Correctional Camps who put their lives on the line, while imprisoned, to save a state in peril.

Technical Specs

Item #225047
Best Use

Emergency Preparedness


8 x 5 x 0.9 inches


Jaime Lowe

Number of Pages








Copyright Year


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