Year of the fires: the story of the great fires of 1910

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Viking, May 1, 2001 - History - 322 pages
7 Reviews
As wildfires blazed throughout the western United States in the summer of 2000, news organizations from across the country sought the insights of fire expert Stephen J. Pyne. Among the things he told them about were the many parallels between the fires of 2000 and the Great Fires that raged nearly a century ago. Here Pyne tells the whole story of the catastrophic fires of 1910 and the indelible legacy they left behind. The Great Fires scorched millions of acres across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana; they destroyed mining camps and whole towns; their smoke darkened skies in New England; their soot fell on the ice of Greenland. Unlike fires before them, they received a massive and innovative response from the fledgling U.S. Forest Service. Drawing upon fresh archivadal material, Pyne chronicles that heroic and costly response, focusing on a two-day crisis, the Big Blowup of August 20-21, when the fires tripled in size and officially claimed the lives of seventy-eight firefighters. Year of the Fires also tells the larger story of how American bureaucracies, railroads, political scandals, pioneering, ideas about nature, and reform

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Review: Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910

User Review  - Mathew Powers - Goodreads

This is a pretty good book that places nature and ultimately, fire, as an agent within the story. It is written as a narrative and geared towards a wider audience, but it is still good scholarship. I ... Read full review

Review: Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910

User Review  - Debbie - Goodreads

I will admit to having a bit of trouble with this book. I was anticipating something other than what I got. It was heavy on Washington politics of the time and light on fire, at least portions of it. I slogged my way through. Read full review



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About the author (2001)

Stephen J. Pyne is a Regents Professor at Arizona State University. He is the author of many books, including "Smokechasing" and "Tending Fire".

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