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Publisher's Summary

The Esperanza Fire started October 26, 2006, in the San Jacinto Mountains above the Banning Pass near Cabazon, California. It destroyed 41,000 acres and dozens of homes and cost the taxpayers $16 million dollars. But by far the highest costs of the conflagration were the lives of the five-man crew of Engine 57, the first engine crew ever killed fighting a wildland blaze. Fire and superheated gases had erupted in a freak "area ignition," sending flames racing across three-quarters of a mile in mere seconds, engulfing the crew and the house they were defending.

The deadly blaze was quickly determined to be no accident. Within a week, serial arsonist Raymond Lee Oyler was arrested and charged with almost two dozen counts of arson - and five counts of first degree murder. The Esperanza Fire recounts with drama and precision the gripping details of the fire and of Oyler's precedent-shattering trial and its stunning conclusion.

John Maclean spent more than five years researching the Esperanza Fire and covering the trial of Raymond Oyler. The result is a thrilling, moment-to-moment insider's chronicle of that devastating and tragic inferno and the pursuit, capture, and prosecution of the man who intentionally set it.

©2013 John N. Maclean. (P)2013 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Maclean is a fine storyteller...he writes a chiseled prose that does justice to the action." ( The Washington Post)
"Poetic and impeccably reported." ( Wildfire magazine)
"It reads like a taut murder mystery, a whodunit novel you can’t put down." ( The Forestry Source)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent account of a tragic story

Very well researched and presented factual account of the Esperanza Fire and the tragic loss of 5 firefighters. The story is clearly explained and presented in a very engaging fashion. An excellent read for anyone but with particular lessons for firefighters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

horrible

What would have made The Esperanza Fire better?

weather and wind reports don't add to the story why too much details that don't make a difference to the story he just adding words

What could John N. Maclean have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

learn how to write a book

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Esperanza Fire?

all of the useless information

Any additional comments?

this is the only book that I have skipped whole chapters because it's so boring, if you are driving like I was be careful that you don't fall assleep

0 of 1 people found this review helpful