Mary Pauline Lowry

Mary Pauline Lowry
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(Mary Pauline Lowry)

Author, former wildland firefighter

Mary Pauline Lowry worked for two years as a forest firefighter on the elite Pike Interagency Hotshot Crew based on the Pike National Forest in Colorado. “Hotshots are the best-trained and best-equipped wildland firefighters, sometimes referred to as the Navy SEALs of their profession” (Rolling Stone Magazine). As a Hotshot, Lowry traveled all over the American West with her crew fighting wildfires ranging in size from single tree lightening strikes to 20,000 acre blazes. Hotshot crews are “hand crews” that do not use water to fight blazes. Instead they dig a firebreak or “fireline” around the fire to deprive it of fuel. With her crew, Lowry hiked or was helicoptered in to fires and dug fireline for 15 hours or more a day. During fire season, she and her crew would work 21 days at a time fighting fire and camping out. 

Lowry left the Hotshot crew to attend graduate school, receiving an M.A. in English (concentration Creative Writing) from the University of Texas at Austin. Lowry has since worked in the movement to end violence against women as a counselor at a domestic violence shelter, advocate on the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and public policy analyst at the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Lowry is a native of Austin, TX, currently residing in Orange County, CA. She has written essays for The New York Times Magazine, the New York TimesxoJane, HelloGiggles, the Huffington Post and other publications. Her novel "Wildfire," inspired by her experiences as a wildland firefighter, was published by Skyhorse Publishing on October 7. 

"Wildfire" has been optioned for film by Bill Mechanic and Suzanne Warren. Lowry has written the script and the project is in development.


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