Fire on the Rim: A Firefighter's Season at the Grand Canyon

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9781555842512: Fire on the Rim: A Firefighter's Season at the Grand Canyon
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Describing his experiences as part of a seasonal forest fire crew, the author reveals the drama of the headline making 1988 North Rim fire

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"Stephen J. Pyne is to fire what Theodore White was to American politics, an insider who can explain how his subject works and affects our lives. . . . In Fire on the Rim Pyne has compressed accounts of the 15 summers he spent as an eager firefighter [on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon]. He begins as a single man, enjoying the heady freedom of his summertime release from college, and ends when he is married and a father, a veteran fighting his last gritty battle against the flames before regretfully packing up like a successful professional athlete who has stayed two or three seasons too long. . . . This book, full of human detail, brings us to the front lines, and we learn what fires mean to the fire―crew foreman (an empire to rule over, if only for a summer) and to the individual firefighter (not the least is plenty of overtime if the struggle against a minor blaze can be stretched out). . . . The author reminds us of the natural rhythms of these vast wild preserves that thwart any of man's efforts to shape them."―New York Times Book Review

"In this lively account of one [fire] season, Pyne introduces us to the tightly knit world of a fire crew, to the complex geography of the North Rim, to the technique and changing philosophy of fire management."―Publishers Weekly

"."Forest fires are both the subject and the main characters in this mesmerizing account by a MacArthur Prize―winning professor who spent 15 summers as a 'Longshot' firefighter. The result is a heady combination of poetic prose, analytic language (trees are 'large fuels'), and ecological polemic directed at the bureaucratic infighting that afflicts the two great administrators of the nation's wilderness―the Park Service and the National Forest Service. . . . This rewarding book should add a 'large fuel' of its own to the debate over our endangered wilderness." ―"―Kirkus

From Publishers Weekly:

Pyne ( The Ice ) spent 15 seasons as a firefighter on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. In this lively account of one season, he introduces us to the tightly knit world of a fire crew, to the complex geography of the North Rim, to the technique and changing philosophy of fire management. Firefighters, the migrant workers of the National Park Service, look askance at its career employees, we're told: Park Naturalists are "fern feelers" and Rangers are simply police officers. Pyne makes trenchant comments about the Park Service and its emphasis on people rather than resource management; as more visitors come into an area, Rangers replace fire crews. A firefighter needs resourcefulness and stamina, writes Pyne, and these qualities are amply represented in his tales of men in the field, forest and on the Rim. The book will appeal to readers who enjoy action; it will also appeal to those interested in the human-wildfire-nature relationship.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780295974835: Fire on the Rim: A Firefighter's Season at the Grand Canyon

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ISBN 10:  0295974834 ISBN 13:  9780295974835
Publisher: University of Washington Press, 1995
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