Fire on the Mountain

By John Maclean
Read by John Maclean

6.68 Hours 10/01/1999 abridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780743547291

On the morning of July 3, 1994, the site of a forest fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado was wrongly recorded by the district's Bureau of Land Management office as taking place in South Canyon, thereby mislabeling forever one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting. That seemingly small human error foreshadowed the numerous other minor errors that, three days later, would be compounded into the deaths of fourteen firefighters, four of them women. In this dramatic reconstruction of the disaster and its aftermath, John N. Maclean tells the heroic and cautionary story of people who were experts in their field but became the victims of nature at its most unforgiving. No one is better equipped to tell this story than the author, whose father, Norman Maclean, wrote the classic account of Mann Gulch, Young Men and Fire, in whose publication the younger Maclean assisted after his father's death. Fire on the Mountain took almost five years to complete and involved nearly fifty thousand miles of auto travel. The audiobook brings to light many new facts about the fire through dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests and countless interviews with survivors and members of the official investigating team, one of whose members refused to sign the final report after a long and bitter debate about where the blame for what happened should be placed. Fire on the Mountain is, however, more than mere investigative journalism. While offering action and adventure storytelling at its best, it also provides deeply moving insights into the lives and dreams of a special breed of people who put their own well-being on the line as part of their daily jobs.

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Summary

Summary

On the morning of July 3, 1994, the site of a forest fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado was wrongly recorded by the district's Bureau of Land Management office as taking place in South Canyon, thereby mislabeling forever one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting. That seemingly small human error foreshadowed the numerous other minor errors that, three days later, would be compounded into the deaths of fourteen firefighters, four of them women. In this dramatic reconstruction of the disaster and its aftermath, John N. Maclean tells the heroic and cautionary story of people who were experts in their field but became the victims of nature at its most unforgiving.

No one is better equipped to tell this story than the author, whose father, Norman Maclean, wrote the classic account of Mann Gulch, Young Men and Fire, in whose publication the younger Maclean assisted after his father's death. Fire on the Mountain took almost five years to complete and involved nearly fifty thousand miles of auto travel. The audiobook brings to light many new facts about the fire through dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests and countless interviews with survivors and members of the official investigating team, one of whose members refused to sign the final report after a long and bitter debate about where the blame for what happened should be placed.

Fire on the Mountain is, however, more than mere investigative journalism. While offering action and adventure storytelling at its best, it also provides deeply moving insights into the lives and dreams of a special breed of people who put their own well-being on the line as part of their daily jobs.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[Fire on the Mountain] renews our awe and reverence for fire’s primal, inextinguishable essence, which crosses state lines, lifetimes, and generations.”  New York Times Book Review
“Riveting.”  Washington Post Book World
“Maclean’s well-sketched personalities bring the action on the ground convincingly to life—and knowing up front that many of his main characters won’t survive South Canyon makes this tragic tale that much more compelling.”  Amazon.com, editorial review
“With a reporter’s objectivity and brisk prose, Maclean describes a series of small blunders in fire management that led to tragedy in July 1994 in western Colorado when a thunderstorm on Storm King Mountain, mislabeled by a dispatcher as South Canyon, killed fourteen firefighters…Maclean handles their deaths respectfully and manages to communicate the lessons to be drawn about fire management in the course of a suspenseful narrative filled with admirable, everyday heroes.”  Publishers Weekly
“The benefits of hindsight notwithstanding, Maclean unravels a host of lost opportunities, snafus, and human failings that combined with horrific consequences.”  Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

by Robert1234 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Needs a voice coach!

I hesitantly give it a thumbs up, but the story is so compelling, and his research so thorough, I have to recommend it. I've read all of his books, some several times, and greatly admire him as an author, but not as a reader. I was surprised, thinking that the author would be a good reader for his own story, but I had been spoiled by a number of excellent readers--most of Patrick O'Brian's books read by Simon Vance, Blackhawk Down, We Are Soldiers Still, and Dispatches. His reading was fairly boring. He doesn't have the clear diction of a good reader, and doesn't have the voice inflections and expressiveness needed to bring a story to life.

Author

Author Bio: John Maclean

John Norman Maclean, a longtime Washington journalist and prizewinning author, has published several books on wildland fire, including one about the 2006 Esperanza Fire in Southern California. In order to provide an accurate account of what firefighters go through, he has spent over a decade working with them, taking their training classes, and listening to their personal stories, calling it the best job hes ever had. He resigned from the Chicago Tribune in 1995, after thirty years of working as a reporter and editor, to write Fire on the Mountain, a critically acclaimed account of the 1994 fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado, which took the lives of fourteen firefighters. The book, a national bestseller, received the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for the best nonfiction book of 1999. A History Channel documentary based on Fire on the Mountain won the Cine Masters Award for Excellence as the best documentary of 2003.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 6.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English