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.
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Fire on the Rim: A Firefighter's Season at the Grand Canyon based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
The stories about the fires were interesting enough. Unfortunately, the stories were overshadowed by the author trying to impress the reader with his vacabulary.
This is a very readable account of the author's 15 seasons as a wildland firefighter in Grand Canyon National Park. This book is at its best when describing the sociology and relationships within the fire crew itself, but the vivid descriptions of the Grand Canyon landscape are also excellent. The account of some of the crew being sent to a large fire in California is classic, and will leave anyone who has 'been there, done that' rolling in laughter. There are a lot more anecdotes like that throughout the entire book. This is also something of a capsule history of the changes in U.S. fire policy in between the late 1960s (when fire crews were locally-directed, equipment hadn't changed much since the 1950s, and the Smokey Bear mentality still reigned supreme with official policy being to have every fire attended to by 10 AM the next day), and the early 1980s (when local crews such as the one the author was on were being de-emphasized in favor of interregional (hotshot) crews, fire strategy nationwide was directed from Boise, and the era of prescribed burns and 'let natural fires burn' was beginning to come into full force.) Most of this account takes place during the 1970s, and things sure have changed a lot since then. A bit of 1970s pop culture seeps into the book as well, with the hilarious new lyrics the fire crew wrote to some popular Kris Kristofferson, Paul Simon, and James Taylor songs of the day. Some other don't-miss tales include the stories of the mis-adventures involving pick-up fire crews from the nearby Navaho and Hopi reservations, the firefighters' evening campground presentations to North Rim tourists, fire school, and 'Abner' the fire lookout (whom you may recognize if you are familiar with the well-known writers about the Southwest). All in all, a natural page-turner, but as I said, things sure have changed a lot since the 1970s (sigh...)