In Fire’s Way: A Practical Guide to Life in the Wildfire Danger Zone
About this book
The fires that have made national news every summer of the twenty-first century have been a wakeup call to citizens of the West. We are all potential victims of fire unless we establish a new way of living with its threat. This timely new book by an environmental journalist with advanced degrees in forestry offers readers a partnership role not just with firefighters but with fire itself. Designed to help westerners understand the Wildfire Danger Zone in the Rocky Mountain states, it focuses closely on New Mexico and Colorado, going beyond technical questions to larger life-style issues.Beginning with discussions of the general properties of wildfire, the ways residents can minimize property damage, and lessons for how to avoid conflagrations such as those that have devastated the mountain communities of Los Alamos and Durango, "In Fire's Way" proposes the formation of partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels to manage fire for the health of local ecosystems. Fire management is inevitably controversial. Proposals for reducing combustibility by increasing logging are as offensive to some citizens as increased government regulations are to others. Prescribed and controlled burns are essential but frightening, especially since the Cerro Grande fire of 2000, a prescribed burn that got away from its crew.As the rural West attracts more suburbanites who expect government agencies to keep them safe, ranchers and farmers are increasingly vocal in their opposition to federal regulations. This book offers the first review of proven methods to create cooperation among these diverse westerners to reduce the dangers of wildfire.
An informative book, the author does a good job of presenting the subject and the dilemma we face in dealing with fire in the "Wildfire Danger Zone". I learned a lot from the information presented and have modified my landscape in minor ways as a result. One thing that took away from the book is the use of the general label "environmentalists" to describe people or organizations with a different view on things than the author's. It would have been better in my opinion if specific labels had been used to identify the specific people or organizations who held opposing viewpoints.