From fire in the mountains comes ashes – and John Maclean |

From fire in the mountains comes ashes – and John Maclean

Daily Staff Report
Special to the DailyJohn Maclean kicks off his summer tour with a book signing at Verbatim Booksellers in Lionshead.

It’s green now, but last summer was a different story. Before the rains came this summer, there was the summer of 2002, with more than 7 million acres of wildfires and a fire-fighting cost of over a billion dollars. In “Fire and Ashes”, John Maclean’s newest book, the author offers readers insight into the actions of firefighters on the front lines battling wildfires, as well as the costs wildfires have on the people, property and nature involved.

“Fire and Ashes” begins with a riveting account of the worst case of arson in wildfire history, the 1953 Rattlesnake Fire in Mendocino National Forest. The fire claimed the lives of 15 firefighters. Maclean explains the mysterious dynamics of fire, and the courage and techniques required to combat it.

One such mystery underlines the life-threatening 1999 Sadler Fire in Nevada when a line of flames suddenly blew up, trapping six firefighters mistakenly placed in harm’s way. For the final story Maclean returns to Mann Gulch, the site of his father’s classic “Young Men and Fire,” to interview the last survivor of the worst disaster in the history of smoke jumping. From it we understand why fatal fires burn for generations.

Verbatim Booksellers brings the acclaimed author back to the Vail Valley for the third time for a slide presentation and book signing at the store on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Call 476-3032 for more information. The presentation is free and open to the public.

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