Friday, October 31, 2008

Fire and Ashes by John Maclean: early thoughts

I finished reading Fire and Ashes by John Maclean last Saturday. I was looking to learn something about the world of wildland fire fighting, the techniques, the lingo, and something about the men and women who fight wildland fires. For this novice to the world of wildland fires, Macleans book did not disappoint.

I can never know what it is like to fight a wildland fire. Reading is reading, it is not the same as doing.

I do know one thing, that is, my thinking about wildland fires is beginning to change. At this point, I am not sure that I am at the point where I can say how I am changed, just that I am. Perhaps what is changing is the knowledge that there is much about the world of wildland fires and those who fight these fires that I can never know.

So, I am still thinking about things and want to take some more time before I post my thoughts on what I have read here. In the meantime, I have a copy of Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean (John's father) and have started to read that book. I also have a copy of John Maclean's early book, Fire on the Mountain. I wonder if my thinking will change after reading Young Men and Fire and Fire on the Mountain? I guess I'll find out.

In the meantime, for those of you reading this who are not familiar with these books, I'll make a post in day or so about what Maclean writes about in Fire and Ashes, and the links to his earlier book and to his Dad's book. So, stay tuned.

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