"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."
""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."