©1999 John N. MacLean, All Rights Reserved; (P)1999 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.
In early July 1994 my girlfriend at the time and I were fighting a small 65 acre fire near Dotsero, about 40 miles from Glenwood Springs. Our incident commander was Butch Blanco. When he was redeployed to South Canyon, we begged to go with him as our fire was winding down and as young, broke Forest Service employees, it was our best chance to stay in overtime and hazard pay status. In hindsight, I consider it a stroke of unimaginable luck that we didn't get sent to South Canyon.
This book brought a lot of things home for me. I remember that summer with vivid details. I drove a load of smoke jumpers to the hospital in Glenwood to visit Eric Hipke, perhaps the last man to make it out of that box canyon alive. This book brings all those stories to life. It brings back the stories of those courageous fire fighters to life in a way that yields both compelling drama and lessons that need to be heeded. I'm devastated that these lessons have been learned before and these events continue to happen. I'm deeply saddened at the events in Arizona this summer and wish for God's sake that John MacLean would run out of stories to tell. But if anybody is going to tell the story it's John and his father (Young Men and Fire). They tell the story honestly, respectfully, and in a manner that entertains as it educates.
If you work in wildland fire fighting or live in the Wildland Urban Interface, this is a must read. Seriously, I wouldn't trust anyone I worked with who didn't read it. It's a compelling story that is rich with lessons that really should never have to be re-learned again.
The narration was good, although a bit stilted at times. I understood the story because I have studied the event, through watching videos (Lessons Learned Center), reading the Fire Behavior Report, and I'll be going to the site in a few days. However, I feel it would have been much more comprehensive and useful with a downloadable map and pictures. Particularly for folks who aren't familiar with the wildland fire community. As for the story itself, I found it heart-wrenching. I went through a simulation - a mock burnout, and as I ran, I thought of those firefighters. It was terrifying. I'm thankful that others took this tragedy and used it as a impetus for change. I hope the public at large begins to speak up, because fire behavior is becoming more unpredictable. Unprecedented blowups and other issues, such as continued problems within the structure of fire operations, threaten the safety of the folks on the ground. We must collectively realize the importance of preventative measures to mitigate the risks, and educate people on the benefits and dangers of fire. With Yarnell on our heels, there must be a push for change, both within the Interagency program and with the views and attitudes of the public. John Maclean's books are a public service.
John Maclean's Books are studied by Safety and Risk Management professionals. High praise. As I write this review, John MaClean is on the scene of a fire in Shenandoah National Park. He is the real deal.
Overall well written book! The statement hindsight is 20-20 comes to mind, listening to this book, as a wildland firefighter, red flags went up everywhere, but it's all hindsight. It is heartbreaking knowing the hell that these brothers and sisters went through. The author brings you personally close to each firefighter lost.
This is a moving and meaningful book. While firefighters will have an easier time understanding much of the terminology, especially in portions examining the bigger picture response to the fire, the writing is clear enough for anyone to understand.
Personally, this book has given me a different picture of wildland firefighting and the investigations that report on the inherent tragedy of the work. I hope this story can serve as a lesson for firefighters, but more so for the chiefs and administrators who put them in harms way.
This is the heartbreaking TRUE story of how the USFS will not/cannot learn from past mistakes it has already made and seemingly is committed to amking AGAIN & AGAIN! After all it is only the Smoke Jumpers and the HOT SHOTS who die! If you read Norman MacLeans'd :Young Men and Fire: and John MacLean's "Fire on the Mountain" I don't know how you could ever allow your children/friends/self to work a wild-land fire for the Federal Government. The TOP MANAGEMENT TEAM of the Federal Agencies involved have BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS and seem indifferent to fixing ANY or even ONE of their many failures of BOTH LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT. It would be Catch 22 funny, if not for all the DEAD BODIES!!!!
Mr. MacLeans's clinical and dispassionate reading of his own tight, clean prose gives a tragic and lyrical sense of the CLASSICS to this story-rasing the deaths opf these wonderful young people to level of a GREEK TRADEGY. His voice gives you a deep sense of the futility of attempting to change these failed federal agencies and their even worse policies.
Federal Fire Policy Failures from Mann Gulch to Storm King.
This is a MUST READ for NOT just every family member of the SMOKE JUMPERS and HOT SHOTS->but for all citizens of the true AMERICAN WEST who are constantly tortured by their distant and dereanged federal government-which neither understands nor care about the folks who populate "fly-over" country. These two EPIC FAILS speak to federal government that id both unwilling and incapable of changing to PROTECT the citizens of the remaining American West. Every current citizen of Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and Alaska could read this book and say: "I know of 20 other massive mistakes the feds made as reagrds this or that policy....
This book is just one more proff that the DEPT of AGRICULTURE and the DEPT of Interior should be abolished!
Report Inappropriate Content