Burnt by Clare Frank @ Napa County Library

Join us on September 5, 2023 at 6pm for an evening with author Clare Frank as she discusses her powerful memoir, Burnt.

Have questions? events@napabookmine.com


When Clare Frank was 17 years old, she became a firefighter in Northern California. Clare was five foot two and too young to officially join the service—she left her birthdate blank on her paperwork, hoping no one would notice. And she didn’t look like her peers, who sported an Adam’s apple and a mustache. But her brother was a firefighter and loved it, so she thought she’d try it out, too. Very soon, she knew she’d found her calling.

Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire is Clare’s inspiring, richly detailed, and open-hearted account of an extraordinary life in fire. It chronicles the transformation of a young adult determined to prove her mettle into a scarred and sensitive veteran, grappling with the weight of her duties as Chief of Fire Prevention—one of the highest-ranking women in Cal Fire history—while record-setting fires engulf her home state. Mentors and managing, funerals and scandal, pickup basketball, car crashes, and always fire—no one has written about this world, from this perspective, like Clare Frank. She masterfully mixes irreverence and awe, taking readers inside station houses, on daily calls, and along on wildfire campaigns where antics and dark humor balance terrifying risk, trauma, and a sense of almost holy responsibility. Burnt is an unforgettable memoir from an American original.


Clare Frank started firefighting in California at 17 and was promoted up the ranks, becoming the state’s first and only female Chief of Fire Protection. Along the way, she earned a BS in fire administration, an MFA in creative writing, and a JD. She has lectured at colleges, universities, and state and national fire conferences, and lives near Lake Tahoe with her husband and two dogs. This is her first book.


“A vigorous and quite timely memoir . . . Throughout the book, Frank is energetic and inspirational, especially to women considering work in the field.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Good memoirs can introduce intriguing individuals and provide access to rarefied pursuits. Author Frank manages both. . . The action scenes are compelling; there are hardwon victories and excruciating losses, and Frank emerges as a relatable and thoroughly human hero.” —Booklist

“In this evocative account of life in the firehouse, Clare Frank portrays the risks firefighters face and the stakes that are now higher than they’ve ever been. She does so with grit and a healthy sense of humor. A must-read.” —Erin Brockovich

“Ominous orange skies and smoke-choked cities: The wildfire crisis is here. Burnt takes you inside. From dirt firefighter to leading thousands, Clare Frank offers a real, humorous, one-of-a-kind front-row seat to wildfires and those who fight them.” —Caroline Godkin, Executive Director of the Climate and Wildfire Institute


Event address: 
580 Coombs St.
Napa, CA 94559
Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire By Clare Frank Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419763908
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Press - May 23rd, 2023

Burnt is a captivating and “evocative” (Erin Brockovich) memoir of trailblazing and firefighting from California’s first—and only—female chief of fire protection, a pioneering woman in a male-dominated field.
Burnt is a book about finding your calling, even if it’s an unexpected one.