OVERRIDE

The Thirtymile Fire

A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal

John Maclean

Henry Holt and Co.

A riveting account of the deadly Thirtymile fire and the controversy and recriminations that raged in its aftermath, from our premier chronicler of wildfires and those who fight them
 
The Thirtymile fire in the remote North Cascade range near the Canadian border in Washington began as a simple mop-up operation. In a few hours, a series of catastrophic errors led to the entrapment and deaths of four members of the fire crew--two teen-age girls and two young men. Each had brought order and meaning to their lives by joining the fire world. Then the very flames they pursued turned on them, extinguishing their lives. When the victims were blamed for their own deaths, the charge brought a storm of controversy that undermined the firefighting community.

Continuing a tradition established in his previous books, and by his father Norman's Young Men and Fire, John N. Maclean serves as an unflinching guide to the rogue fire's unexpected violence--which is almost matched by the passions released by the official verdict of the blaze. Weaving together the astonishing stories told by the witnesses, the victims' family members, and the official reports, Maclean produces a dramatic narrative of a catastrophe that has changed the way fire is fought. More than anything, it is a story of humanity at risk when wildfire, ancient and unpredictable, breaks loose

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Chapter One
 
You won't find any white collars here.
Don't come looking for easy cash.
We fight the fires in your lost canyons,
Faces stained by sweat and ash.
 
--from Storm King Angels by Chip Kiger
 
As Kathie FitzPatrick struggled to bring a bickering home buyer and seller to terms, she stole a glance at her watch. It was almost 5:30 pm, and once again her workday had stretched into evening. Kathie had snatched a personal moment a few hours earlier to place a cell phone call to her eighteen-year-old daughter Karen, who had just become a wildland firefighter
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • John Maclean

  • John N. Maclean's Fire on the Mountain was the MPBA best nonfiction title of 1999. A newspaper reporter and longtime student of wildfire, he assisted in the posthumous publication of his father, Norman Maclean's, Young Men and Fire. He divides his time between Washington, D.C., and Montana. Fire and Ashes (0-8050-7591-7) was selected as a Chicago Tribune Best Book of 2003.
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The Thirtymile Fire

A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal

John Maclean

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Henry Holt and Co.

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