Abstract

From a fire policy of prevention at all costs to today’s restored burning, Between Two Fires is America’s history channeled through the story of wildland fire management. Stephen J. Pyne tells of a fire revolution that began in the 1960s as simple suppression and then was replaced with more enlightened programs of fire management. It then explains the counterrevolution in the 1980s that stalled the movement, and finally describes the fire scene that has evolved since then. Pyne is uniquely qualified to tell America’s fire story. The author of more than a score of books, he has told fire’s history in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the Earth overall. In his earlier life, he spent fifteen seasons with the North Rim Longshots at Grand Canyon National Park. In Between Two Fires, Pyne recounts how, after the Great Fires of 1910, a policy of fire suppression spread from America’s founding corps of foresters into a national policy that manifested itself as a costly all-out war on fire. After fifty years of attempted fire suppression, a revolution in thinking led to a more pluralistic strategy for fire’s restoration. The revolution succeeded in displacing suppression as a sole strategy, but it has failed to fully integrate fire and land management and has fallen short of its goals. Today, the nation’s backcountry and increasingly its exurban fringe are threatened by larger and more damaging burns, fire agencies are scrambling for funds, firefighters continue to die, and the country seems unable to come to grips with the fundamentals behind a rising tide of megafires. Pyne has once again constructed a history of record that will shape our next century of fire management. Between Two Fires is a story of ideas, institutions, and fires. It’s America’s story told through the nation’s flames.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Arizona Press
Number of pages541
ISBN (Print)9780816532193, 9780816531820
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

fire history
fire management
fire suppression
History
fire fighters
wildland fire management
history
Firefighters
foresters
canyons
land management
canyon
tide
national park

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Pyne, S. (2015). Between two fires: A fire history of contemporary America. University of Arizona Press.

Between two fires : A fire history of contemporary America. / Pyne, Stephen.

University of Arizona Press, 2015. 541 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Pyne, S 2015, Between two fires: A fire history of contemporary America. University of Arizona Press.
Pyne S. Between two fires: A fire history of contemporary America. University of Arizona Press, 2015. 541 p.
Pyne, Stephen. / Between two fires : A fire history of contemporary America. University of Arizona Press, 2015. 541 p.
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