During her three fire seasons with the U.S. Forest Service, Clare worked as a firefighter on over 25 wildfires in 6 states.
Clare spent two seasons as a wildland firefighter on the Kings Peak Wildland Fire Module, a 10-person fire crew based out of the Ashley National Forest in northeastern Utah. As a firefighter on Kings Peak, Clare dug line, assisted with prescribed and back burns, gathered fire and weather data, ran a chainsaw and more. During these two seasons, she worked with engines, helitack crews, hotshot crews, handcrews and smoke jumpers while receiving training and mentorship from veteran firefighters on Kings Peak.
During her third fire season, Clare worked as the lookout at Ute Fire Tower, one of Utah’s last remaining fire towers, while also working as a firefighter on a Type 4 Engine on the Ashley National Forest. In this hybrid role, Clare began to assume leadership positions as a squad boss trainee and Fire Effects Monitor-qualified firefighter while also creating an interpretive program about the historic Ute Fire Tower.
Clare also collaborated on the homing pigeon project – an ambitious project seeking to educate the public about the Forest Service’s historical use of homing pigeons as messenger carriers by recreating one such flock at the Ute Fire Tower. Besides tending and training these homing pigeons, Clare also worked with the Ashley National Forest’s blaster, packer, archaeologist and public affairs officer on various projects.
Clare is currently writing a wildfire memoir about these experiences.