Published 1996

In her capacity as spike camp medic and security officer, Anna is part of the army battling the Jackknife fire in Northern California's Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Conditions conspire and turn freakish causing Anna and her crew to be caught in a firestorm.  When the storm passes, a crew member is dead, and not due to natural causes...

Firestorm, set in Lassen Volcanic National Park and the fourth in the Anna Pigeon series, was nominated for an Anthony and won the French Prieu du Roman award.  

"This came together from bits and pieces of my experience.  I had just worked as a spike camp EMT (an emergency medical technician sent out to the smaller camps closer to the fire's front) and was fascinated by the Brigadoon aspect of fire camps, worlds that spring up overnight only to disappear in a day or a week.  I wanted to transport others to this strange life.  The fire I worked was in Idaho.  I transported it to Lassen park.  I grew up near Lassen and, as a child, was captivated by the weird hypnotic magic of volcanic activity."


Left: I don't know if I was actually amused or just silly from lack of sleep.  This was the first wild-land fire I ever worked.
Right: Mom's ranch near Lassen, the area where I grew up.

The fire camp First Aid tent that inspired "Firestorm."