Fire on the Rim

A Firefighter's Season at the Grand Canyon

Stephen J. Pyne

  • $28.00s paperback (9780295974835) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 1995
  • Subject Listing: History / Environmental History; Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 336 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Contents


"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." -"