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Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire | [John N. MacLean]

Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire

On the morning of July 3, 1994, a misreported forest fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado became one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting. In this dramatic reconstruction of the disaster and its aftermath, John N. MacLean tells the heroic and cautionary story of nature at its most unforgiving.
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Publisher's Summary

On the morning of July 3, 1994, the site of a forest fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado was wrongly recorded by the district's Bureau of Land Management office as taking place in South Canyon, thereby mislabeling forever one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting. That seemingly small human error foreshadowed the numerous other minor errors that, three days later, would be compounded into the deaths of 14 firefighters, four of them women. In this dramatic reconstruction of the disaster and its aftermath, John N. MacLean tells the heroic and cautionary story of people who were experts in their field but became the victims of nature at its most unforgiving.

©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.

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  •  
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 09-06-13
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 09-06-13 Member Since 2011

    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.

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    "As a wildland firefighter it's a book that matters"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Brendon Fort Collins, Colombia 12-01-08
    Brendon Fort Collins, Colombia 12-01-08
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    "Amazing"

    Incredible! I love real adventure stories and would recommend this to any adventurous travelers!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Prescott, AZ, United States 12-05-12
    Terry Prescott, AZ, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2011

    TBear72

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    "U.S. F.S. Learned NOTHING from The Mann Gulch Fire"
    Where does Fire on the Mountain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    TOP 5%!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire on the Mountain?

    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!!!!


    Which character – as performed by John N. MacLean – was your favorite?

    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.


    If you could give Fire on the Mountain a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Federal Fire Policy Failures from Mann Gulch to Storm King.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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