17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A consensus history of fire in the United States has emerged over the past decade. It correctly identifies fire suppression's liabilities, while probably over-enthusing about fire-science capabilities. What it lacks, however, is a context of the subject's larger, braided narratives. There is, first, the grand story of fire on Earth. Quite apart from active suppression, open fire is disappearing in competition with industrial combustion. Second, there is the peculiar narrative of the public lands, the prime domain for wildland fires. These lands, and the institutions for their management, are rapidly changing. They began as "imperial" institutions, but now are devolving, privatizing, and otherwise decolonizing. Fire will change with those reforms. Third, there is a national narrative, currently obsessed with the collision of the wild and the exurban. This will probably pass within 5-6 years. Finally, there is the evolving narrative of how we imagine fire. We need a truly biological theory of fire, one in which we can flourish as unique fire creatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-877
Number of pages4
JournalConservation Biology
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Fingerprint

Fires
privatization
fire suppression
public lands
wildfires
combustion
liability
collision
Earth (planet)
History
history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Pyromancy : Reading stories in the flames. / Pyne, Stephen.

In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 18, No. 4, 08.2004, p. 874-877.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pyne, Stephen. / Pyromancy : Reading stories in the flames. In: Conservation Biology. 2004 ; Vol. 18, No. 4. pp. 874-877.
@article{3120b5de94774f8c820d2241e30a7655,
title = "Pyromancy: Reading stories in the flames",
abstract = "A consensus history of fire in the United States has emerged over the past decade. It correctly identifies fire suppression's liabilities, while probably over-enthusing about fire-science capabilities. What it lacks, however, is a context of the subject's larger, braided narratives. There is, first, the grand story of fire on Earth. Quite apart from active suppression, open fire is disappearing in competition with industrial combustion. Second, there is the peculiar narrative of the public lands, the prime domain for wildland fires. These lands, and the institutions for their management, are rapidly changing. They began as {"}imperial{"} institutions, but now are devolving, privatizing, and otherwise decolonizing. Fire will change with those reforms. Third, there is a national narrative, currently obsessed with the collision of the wild and the exurban. This will probably pass within 5-6 years. Finally, there is the evolving narrative of how we imagine fire. We need a truly biological theory of fire, one in which we can flourish as unique fire creatures.",
author = "Stephen Pyne",
year = "2004",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00490.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
pages = "874--877",
journal = "Conservation Biology",
issn = "0888-8892",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pyromancy

T2 - Reading stories in the flames

AU - Pyne, Stephen

PY - 2004/8

Y1 - 2004/8

N2 - A consensus history of fire in the United States has emerged over the past decade. It correctly identifies fire suppression's liabilities, while probably over-enthusing about fire-science capabilities. What it lacks, however, is a context of the subject's larger, braided narratives. There is, first, the grand story of fire on Earth. Quite apart from active suppression, open fire is disappearing in competition with industrial combustion. Second, there is the peculiar narrative of the public lands, the prime domain for wildland fires. These lands, and the institutions for their management, are rapidly changing. They began as "imperial" institutions, but now are devolving, privatizing, and otherwise decolonizing. Fire will change with those reforms. Third, there is a national narrative, currently obsessed with the collision of the wild and the exurban. This will probably pass within 5-6 years. Finally, there is the evolving narrative of how we imagine fire. We need a truly biological theory of fire, one in which we can flourish as unique fire creatures.

AB - A consensus history of fire in the United States has emerged over the past decade. It correctly identifies fire suppression's liabilities, while probably over-enthusing about fire-science capabilities. What it lacks, however, is a context of the subject's larger, braided narratives. There is, first, the grand story of fire on Earth. Quite apart from active suppression, open fire is disappearing in competition with industrial combustion. Second, there is the peculiar narrative of the public lands, the prime domain for wildland fires. These lands, and the institutions for their management, are rapidly changing. They began as "imperial" institutions, but now are devolving, privatizing, and otherwise decolonizing. Fire will change with those reforms. Third, there is a national narrative, currently obsessed with the collision of the wild and the exurban. This will probably pass within 5-6 years. Finally, there is the evolving narrative of how we imagine fire. We need a truly biological theory of fire, one in which we can flourish as unique fire creatures.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=4043166332&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=4043166332&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00490.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00490.x

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 874

EP - 877

JO - Conservation Biology

JF - Conservation Biology

SN - 0888-8892

IS - 4

ER -