A Season of Fire: Four Months on the Firelines of Americas Forests

ISBN 10: 1585421766 / ISBN 13: 9781585421763
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Synopsis: On July 10, 2001, in northern Washington state, a rain of burning embers trapped two civilians and thirteen firefighters in a steeply walled canyon. With a roar heard thirty miles away, flames and black smoke swept overhead-leaving four firefighters dead.

This tragic story lies at the heart of A Season of Fire, a compelling narrative that begins in mid-May 2001 with dire early weather predictions, follows the training of thousands of new firefighters, and culminates in mid-September as the year's final blazes are extinguished and controversy erupts over the July deaths.

Journalist Douglas Gantenbein takes readers behind the scenes of smokejumpers' training and travels to the locations of the summer's most dramatic fires: Wyoming's Jackson Fire, in which millions of dollars were spent in an attempt to save a group of million-dollar homes; the Arthur Fire, which closed Yellowstone Park's eastern entrance for two weeks; and the Fridley Fire, which torched 50,000 acres of Montana woodlands in less than six hours.

In a fascinating exploration of the science and economics of firefighting, Gantenbein dramatically depicts the tinderbox that is the American West.

About the Author: Douglas Gantenbein has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Popular Science, and Backpacker. Author of the Outside magazine column "The Gear Guy," he teaches at the University of Washington and is a member of Seattle Mountain Rescue, the oldest and largest volunteer wilderness rescue organization in the United States.

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