‘Fire Country’ a Personal Project For Max Thieriot

'Fire Country' on CBS
(Image credit: Bettina Strauss/CBS)

Max Thieriot is the creator, star and executive producer of drama Fire Country, which begins on CBS Friday, October 7. Thieriot based the series on his childhood in Northern California, where firefighters worked alongside convicted felons to fight wildfires. 

The cast also includes Billy Burke, Diane Farr, Kevin Alejandro and Jordan Calloway. 

Thieriot, who’s in the cast on SEAL Team, said in a TCA press session this was his first time pitching a story, and even finishing a writing project. “I just found myself so locked into it,” he said. “And I think a lot of that is just because it was personal, so it was easy to work on and find and create and move forward with.”

Thieriot grew up in a small town in Sonoma County.  “I didn't realize how interesting life in a small town is until I left and went and worked in these big cities,” he said. “And it was then that I sort of looked back and thought, Wow, it's such a different way of living, but it's also, the comfort that you have and the familiarity you have with everybody and how close this community is. In times of struggle and when everybody needs to come together, they really do, and they all support each other.”  

The showrunner is Tia Napolitano. She called Fire Country “a character-driven thrill ride.”

Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Phelan and Joan Rater are also executive producers. 

“We conceived of it as having some serialized elements, but I think it will be easy for the audience to kind of come in if they have missed some episodes,” said Phelan. 

Phelan said the firefighters will battle fires from the Oregon border on down to Mexico, and they’ll do water rescue as well. “So there's all sorts of stories to tell,” he said. 

Thieriot called the Fire Country cast “exceptional.”

“I'm so, so excited to share this story of these firefighters who are not only incredible heroes, but they're also people who have huge and kind hearts,” Thieriot added, “like a lot of these actors do.” ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.