Fire Season

fire season cover image Fire Season

by Philip Connors
Reflections on Nature
Ecco Press
Paperback, 272 pages

The tragedy of 19 elite firefighters in Arizona set us to thinking about forest fire literature – Kerouac, Snyder, Dillard and Abbey to name a few. Norman MacLean’s Young Men and Fire probably sets the standard and, with its account of the deaths of 17 young smokejumpers, is most relevant to the Arizona catastrophe. In this book, Connors relates his experience of a decade of summers spent high in a fire tower in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area. The writing is both lyrical and energetic; observational and introspective; ruminative and polemical. There is a lot of forest husbandry, pyrotechnics, wildlife management, and contented isolation. He’s a former Wall Street Journal reporter. Go figure!