As a veteran firefighter, I can identify with the feelings of fear and loss brought forth in this book. It is a documentary of lives lost in the infamous Mann Gulch Fire. For the uninitiated, Maclean shows you the life of the firefighter, what they do from day to day, how they think when things get scary, and maybe what some last thoughts were when things went beyond what any human being can be expecte to control. Haunting.
Great Book! The book has been around a long time, but a true story never fades. On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service elite airborne firefighters, The Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness (Mann Gulch). In less then an hour after their jump, all but three of the men were dead or mortally burned. This story was written 40 years after the fact, because the fire still haunted the author, Norman Maclean. I love this book.
The Mann Creek fire in a canyon in Montana. Most of us have never heard of it, but Norman Maclean, author of "A River Runs Through It", takes us step by step of how a small, innocuous forest fire can turn into a deadly blowup and kill almost the entire firefighting crew. Maclean is older and has a difficult time climbing up and down the hills that he would have run easily when he was a younger fire fighter. It's a true mystery, which he refuses to give up solving. He died before this book was finished, but the publishers did an excellent job of finishing what he started. This book shows us how the current firefighting rules and conditions of present day came about. He shows us the lives of dead men, the original "hotshots" who parachuted into fires, who were so young and thought they were invincible. Excellent reading.
I've read it twice and never tire of his beautiful prose and well written story.
Thorough exploration of the true story of several smoke jumpers who died fighting a forest fire in Montana. Includes some actual photographs.