Women firefighters battling the Ferguson Fire

U.S Forest Service Wildland Firefighter Megan Saylors

There are more women Wildland Firefighters now than ever before according to fire officials at the Ahwahnee Base Camp for the Ferguson Fire. Day in and day out, firefighters on the front-line of the Ferguson Fire are working in triple digit heat, wearing at least 60 pounds of gear and operating heavy tools. It's taxing even on the toughest but there are a handful of women up to the test. As a U.S. Forest Service Wildland Firefighter, Megan Saylors says she has done it all in the past 17 years.

"We'll tell you it is mental and not physical. The job is hard there are long days that are tough. But it is doable if you are willing to put in the effort. Some days are harder than others," said Saylors.

She says this type of work hasn't always been a childhood ambition but that changed in college.

"It was described as grueling and long hours, sleeping on the ground and terrible food. I thought that was just terrible. When I got the job I could see the comradery, adventure and giving back. It totally changed all that other stuff for me," said Saylors.

She now heads a program to recruit firefighters.

"I work specifically in recruiting and retaining women who work in Wildland Fire. On this fire I went to talk to a crew. I introduced myself and met a girl named Jenna who I had recruited three years ago. She ended up getting a job as a hotshot. That was a proud moment, there is a reason why I do the job and being able to share that," said Saylors.

For more information click Careers in Wildland Fire

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off