Fire on the Mountain (book)

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For other uses, see Fire on the Mountain.

Fire on the Mountain (ISBN 0061829617) is a 1999 non-fiction book by John Norman Maclean that describes the most famous wildland fire of the late 20th century. The book describes the events and aftermath of the South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain on July 6, 1994 in Colorado, which took the lives of 14 firefighters. The fire has become an icon of firefighting, a caution about the dangers of taking high risks for low-value wildlands. Those who died included nine members of the Prineville (Oregon) Hot Shots: Kathi Beck, Tami Bickett, Scott Blecha, Levi Brinkley, Doug Dunbar, Terri Hagen, Bonnie Holtby, Rob Johnson, and Jon Kelso; three Missoula Smoke Jumpers: Don Mackey, Roger Roth, and James Thrash; and two members of a Helitack fire crew: Richard Tyler, and Rob Browning. Fire on the Mountain, a national bestseller, won the Mountain and Plains Booksellers award as the best non-fiction of 1999. It was made into an eponymous two-hour documentary by the History Channel that was a finalist for an Emmy award and won the Cine Master's Award as the best documentary of 1999. National Geographic Films is currently[when?] developing the book as a full-length feature movie. The book is written to a general audience, but has also become a staple of wildland firefighter training courses, from entry level to the top level.

Related[edit]

John Norman Maclean's father, Norman Maclean, wrote Young Men and Fire that told a very similar story about the Mann Gulch fire of August 1949 and the 13 men who died there. The fire occurred in Mann Gulch in the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness. The lessons forgotten from there played a role in the South Canyon Fire tragedy.