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Children's Fiction Environment

Fire on the Mountain

by (author) Pamela McDowell

illustrated by Dana Barton

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Environment, Country Life, Survival Stories, Disasters
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Lightning sparks a forest fire deep in the mountains near the town of Waterton.

Days later, the sky is blue and the air is clear, so it doesn’t seem like an emergency, until crews of firefighters begin to arrive and townspeople start to prepare. Cricket and her friends watch deer and birds flee the forest and run right through town. But what about the slower animals? What about the porcupines and squirrels, the salamanders and snakes? Cricket searches for a way to help until the fire surprises everyone by quickly switching directions and racing towards the town. She hopes that the preparations and the firefighters' experience will be enough to save her home. But what about all the animals she loves? 

This is the fifth title in the Cricket McKay series, following Cougar Frenzy, Bats in Trouble, Ospreys in Danger and Salamander Rescue.

About the authors

Pamela McDowell’s first career was in education, teaching junior high and high school. She began writing when she left teaching and has now written more than twenty nonfiction books for children. Pamela grew up in Alberta and enjoys writing about the diverse animals and habitats of her home province. Ospreys in Danger is her first work of fiction. Pamela lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her husband, two kids and an Australian shepherd. For more information, visit

Pamela McDowell's profile page

Dana Barton grew up in rural Ontario where she ran around campgrounds and did a lot of scribbling. She enjoys putting natural environments down on paper. Since graduating from the illustration program at Sheridan College in 2019, she has been working as a freelance illustrator in editorial and publishing. She now lives in Waterdown, Ontario.


Dana Barton's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“This eye-opening, empowering book will appeal to those who enjoy natural disaster stories, or altruistic readers who want to know how to help keep themselves, their family, their community, and the environment as safe as possible during an ­emergency.”

School Library Journal

“Fast-paced, yet easy to follow...Readers learn how forest fires can start and spread, as well as how animals behave when threatened by forest fires and what people can do in hope of protecting their property. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Pamela McDowell