In the tradition of Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm and Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers comes a true and heartbreaking tale of courage, difficult decisions, and ultimate sacrifice. On the Burning Edge, by award-winning journalist and former wildland firefighter Kyle Dickman, is the definitive account of the Yarnell Hill Fire.
On June 28, 2013, a single bolt of lightning sparked an inferno that devoured more than 8,000 acres in Northern Arizona. Twenty elite firefighters - the Granite Mountain Hotshots - walked together into the blaze, tools in their hands and fire shelters on their hips. Only one of them walked out.
Dickman brings to the story a professional firefighter's understanding of how wildfires ignite, how they spread, and how they are fought. He understands hotshots and their culture: the pain and glory of a rough and vital job, the brotherly bonds born of dangerous work. Drawing on dozens of interviews with officials, families of the fallen, and the lone survivor, he describes in vivid detail what it's like to stand inside a raging fire - and shows how the increased population and decreased water supply of the American West guarantee that many more young men will step into harm's way in the coming years.
©2015 Kyle Dickman (P)2015 Random House Audio
Exceptional book, great insight to fighting wildland fires and how to become a hot shot.
Although the technical information provided about the crew, fire equipment and field terms is easy to understand, reading the same at a study pace, and having a written outline (provided by the author of men, squads, fires, etc.) provided a better touch-stone. The audio version is "better" because the narrator, Will Damron, provides the emotion and sense of urgency that is the backbone of this story.
Learning about the mens' lives, dreams, family and motivations.
Favorite? Well, impressive and mind boggling. The telling of the Dude Fire. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I had no idea of the risk involved, and how the situations can change in the blink of an eye. They all train so hard to be ready. Ready. I cried.
This book is based on actual events. The aftermath of any tragedy claiming human life, leaves those left behind empty at all levels of emotion and understanding. The eulogy read by Granite Mountain Firefighter Brendan McDonough is one of those moments.
Kyle Dickmans' book is well written, and very interesting. The language and tools of firefighting are made easy for anyone to understand. I enjoyed learning the history of wild land fire fighting and how it came to be in the fabric of our nation.
I was skeptical of this book. I didn't really care for the article in Outside that was it's beginning and I thought a whole book on the subject might turn out to be some Sebastian Younger style trash. However, I'm friends with the authors brother so I thought I had better check it out in for conversation sake. My skepticism was completely obliterated! This is such a well written book. It's a respectfully told story of a terrible tragedy, general fire fighting techniques and an interesting look into current forest management policy. The book find an exceptional balance covering a very tough subject.
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