Nothin’ says it better than the cover, right? This is my November release, Rescued by the Firefighter.
My hero, Rand Nelson, is actually a SMOKEJUMPER and fights forest fires rather than buildings, residences, etc. The story opens with the heroine, Beatrice Wilcox, owner of a youth camp, running INTO the forest fire across the road from her beloved kids’ camp just as Rand drives up in the fire truck. How’s that for a Meet Cute?
I conducted quite a bit of research about smokejumpers and was surprised at how far back their origins go. The first smoke jumps were by Rufus Robinson and Early Cooley at Rock Pillar near Marten Creek in the Nez Perce National Forest on July 12, 1940.
Today, both men and women train to be smokejumpers…which I have to say, has spurred me to want to write about a woman smokejumper. But I digress.
When I was researching RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER, I spoke with firefighters, read interviews with smokejumpers, and delved into the history. But when I saw this photo right from the beginning, it spoke to me.
From the blazes of the inferno to the “calendar” photos of buff firemen, these are the guys who risk their lives for us so that our homes, businesses and our lives are safe.
They’re just guys and gals who work hard, risk a lot, but at the end of the day, they’re exhausted just like we are---only more so.
When they’re all suited up in their gear with helmets and face masks, they appear like gods or alien masterminds, able to perform the impossible. And THEY DO! They parachute into a blazing forest fire with not much more than a hatchet and a shovel. They kill the fiend and stomp out the blaze. The pilots drop chemicals and water to douse flames.
But at the end of the day, they’re guys who flop on the ground, no pillows or covers and dream.
So, when I look at this photo, I wonder what they dream about. Home? A special girl? A child? Or the next fire season that might take their life? What I found is that they dream of all these things. And they give thanks that they are still alive.
I give my deepest and most sincere gratitude to them for protecting us.
All autumn long forest fires rage in our drought-riddled Western States and up into the forested northern regions. I discovered that these now epic fires are only going to get worse in the future due to over-population and the building of homes butted right up to the forests. Alien pests and insects are second on the list. We have an infusion of insects and foliage diseases that devour the life of our trees and turn them to ready kindling should a fire break out. It takes diligence on all our parts to keep fires from happening in the first place. Care and caution at our campsites to the blatant “flicking the cigarette butt” out of a car window. Believe it or not, on my last trip up to the “Rim” in Arizona, I passed a car in which the driver flicked out a glowing cigarette butt. Naively, I thought behavior like that was a thing of the past. Not so.
What ideas and thoughts do you have about preventing forest fires? Or any tips on keeping your home safe with the upcoming holidays?
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