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Thelma Strabel's original story was called "Of Fire by Night," prior to publication. This was also a working title for the film. The film opens with the following written foreword: "One third of America is forest. Vast resources of timber, watershed, grazing, recreation and unparalleled beauty are found in our forest preserves. The men whose duty it is to protect these resources are the members of the United States Forest Service. To these courageous men and their splendid organization we extend our appreciation of their cooperation in making possible the production of this picture."
Hollywood Reporter news items reported that Madeleine Carroll was originally cast as "Celia Huston," but she withdrew from the production and was replaced by Paulette Goddard, who was originally cast as "Tana Mason." Betty Field was then considered for the role of Tana before Susan Hayward was finally cast. According to Paramount publicity information and Hollywood Reporter news items, some scenes in the film were shot on location at Big Basin in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. Some fire scenes were shot near Lakeview, OR, and U.S. Forest Service parachutists known as "Smoke Jumpers" were filmed in action near Missoula, MO.