High Country News gives voice to women firefighters speaking out about harassment, abuse and sexism on the job


PAONIA, COLO. - High Country News, the nation's leading source of reporting on the American West, just released the first feature in a continuing series of stories about women working in public-land agencies who are being harassed and abused by their male colleagues.  

On Monday, May 31, 2016, High Country News published Trial by Fire, a frank and personal look at one of the public land's most macho subcultures: wildland firefighting.  Writer Krista Langlois tells the story of women who continue to blaze a new trail in firefighting while faced with many obstacles outside of the obvious challenges of combating dangerous fires in the West's wild backcountry.

Read the complete story here: hcne.ws/trial-by-fire (contact for free editor access). Contact to set up interviews with HCN staff and contributing writers.

Trial by Fire is part of a longer series of stories High Country News is covering about the challenges women face working for public lands agencies. Our reporters are conducting an ongoing investigation into the long history of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender discrimination in the National Park Service and other agencies, and how agency officials handle these complaints.

Read the stories we’ve written so far on the subject here:

If you are interested in republishing Trial by Fire, or any of our other current harassment coverage, contact . 

High Country News is a nonprofit 501(c)3 independent media organization that covers the important issues and stories that define the American West. Its mission is to inform and inspire people – through in-depth journalism – to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities. 

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