The Wallow fire, which has been burning for nearly a month, has destroyed more than half a million acres across eastern Arizona and western New Mexico and has displaced more than 10,000 people.
The fire, which is the biggest in Arizona history, is now 82 percent contained. More than 4,300 firefighters battled the blaze that Forest Service officials believe was started by an unattended campfire.
Among these 4,300 individuals, is a team of firefighters from a unit known as "Apache 8." The unit was formed more than 30 years ago and up until recently was made up of all female firefighters from the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
According to reports, the Apache 8 unit protected their reservation from fire and responded to wildfires around the nation. Facing gender stereotypes and the problems that come with life on the impoverished reservation, the women became known as some of the country's most elite firefighters.
In this interview, filmmaker Sande Zeig discusses the women of "Apache 8", the documentary which shares the same name and the women's involvement with the Wallow fire.
"You never knew what you were going to face. You were with a bunch of women that could handle anything." Katy Aday, ex-Apache 8 crewmember
"These women are incredibly inspirational. They have fortitude. They really will accept any challenge." Sande Zeig, filmmaker.
1. In what region of the U.S. are Arizona and New Mexico located?
2. What is a forest fire?
3. What are some ways forest fires are started?
4. What is a stereotype?
1. What makes the Apache 8 unit unique?
2. Why do you think the group was exclusive to women?
3. Do you think female firefighters and policewomen face stereotypes? If yes, what are some of the issues they face?