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Here’s the Wild Idea

Lacey’s Wild Idea: To protect the environment by fighting fires in the wild.

I’ve always been interested in people with careers that allow them to spend time outside and contribute to the greater good. That’s how I found out about wildland firefighter Lacey England. REI recently made a video called “Women in Fire” that features Lacey and some other badass female firefighters and launches April 30th. Lacey was also profiled in the National Forest Foundation series, “Drawn to Flame: Women Forged by Fire.”

Fighting wild fires is a career I never heard much about as a kid, so I was fascinated by how Lacey got into it. She shared her story, plus the unglamorous life of her job (it involves Spam and carrying insanely heavy packs), what her day-to-day training entails, and what it’s like to be in a field that is dominated by people that don’t look like her. Plus, she tells us why she’s passionate about inspiring the next generation of young women to pursue careers that may fall outside the norm.

Presented by REI

Listen to this Episode if

  • You want to protect the environment.
  • You’ve ever thought about being a firefighter.
  • You want to be incredibly strong. Like Hulk strong.
  • You’re a woman in a male-dominated field.
  • You like being alone in the outdoors.

Key Takeaways

  • 2:15 – What is a wildland fire and what Lacey’s job is like.
  • 4:50 – What kind of person goes into wildland firefighting.
  • 5:25 – How Lacey became a firefighter.
  • 7:15 – Why Lacey originally wanted to be a surgeon before she found fire.
  • 8:55 – How working as a firefighter is not as glamorous as it sounds.
  • 9:50 – Lacey’s favorite parts of the job.
  • 12:25 – How HUGE and HEAVY Lacey’s pack is.
  • 14:25 – Why they eat Spam.
  • 16:05 – What the requirements are for getting into wildland firefighting.
  • 18:30 – How Lacey trains and stays in shape.
  • 21:30 – Lacey’s advice for women who want to work in fire.
  • 24:40 – Lacey’s favorite time outside is quiet and peaceful.
  • 25:25 – Why Lacey tries to move and meditate every day.
  • 26:15 – What books have helped Lacey in her life and career.
  • 28:25 – Why she would tell her younger self to chill out and say yes more.
  • 29:40 – What lessons Lacey has learned from firefighting.
  • 31:45 – Lacey’s message for the world is one of kindness.

Join us for REI’s Women’s Coronado Campout


Women in Fire film
Work in Wildland Fire
Work for the Bureau of Land Management
Women Forged by Fire
Keepers of the Outdoors

Awesome book Lacey recommends gifting

Mindset by Carol Dweck



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