Seger and colleagues decided to make "Fire Lake" the first single from Against the Wind because it was "totally and unequivocally unlike anything I'd ever done before."
"The lyric is very ... different ... and very kind of unique. It's about taking risks. About risking love, chucking it all and just heading off with a bunch of wild people, whatever.
"It is one of my favorite lyrics down through the years, and the track is very unusual. It's sort of an R&B meets country kind of thing.
"I really wanted it to be the first single but I never thought Capitol would agree to it, and I believe it was Punch (Andrews, Seger's manager and often co-producer) who talked them into it. What I liked about it was that it broke new ground for us. It really showed that we were unafraid to push the envelope of what we were doing before, which was basically pretty hot rock and roll, you know, with a few ballads thrown in."
Three of the Eagles provided the backing vocals for this track: Glenn Frey, Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit. Seger's recording engineer David Cole makes reference to the song on his website when he talks of his history with Seger: "I was there when the Eagles sang 'Who wants to go to Fire Lake?' and many other great moments during the Stranger in Town album".