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The Year Yellowstone Burned: A Twenty-Five-Year Perspective Paperback – May 1, 2015
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[Henry’s] description of the fire . . . is dazzling—all these years later and one can almost see and feel the flames. . . . The author’s stunning photographs and the firsthand observations and opinions are the highlights of this book and make it a must-have. (Library Journal, Starred Review)
Although Yellowstone National Park has seen its share of wildfires over the centuries, perhaps none was more disastrous than the one that consumed more than 35 percent of the park’s vast acreage in the summer of 1988. As a veteran Yellowstone guide and firefighter, Henry was on-site during the conflagration, witnessing and photographing much of the damage. In this absorbing retrospective report on the inferno 25 years later, Henry highlights the key events that combined to create 'the perfect firestorm' and offers lessons for preventing a recurrence in Yellowstone and other protected lands. . . . Along with revealing photos and maps, the narrative offers many vivid personal anecdotes, including Henry’s own chilling description of a smoky mushroom cloud during the fire’s early days. National park enthusiasts and everyone interested in environmental matters will find Henry’s account both gripping and informative. (Booklist)
Fascinating as a personal record of nature and of human endeavor. The many spectacular photos alone are well worth a look. (FreshFiction.com)
There have been many books written about the Yellowstone fires of 1988; until now, none had been written by someone who not only knew most of the people ‘on the ground’ during the fires, but was also on the front lines himself. The Year Yellowstone Burned is exciting, superbly written, and ultimately, the most important book on its subject matter since the fateful summer of 1988. (Leslie James Quinn, Yellowstone interpretive specialist, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc.)
Jeff Henry (my former student) provides a personal and well documented view of the Yellowstone fires of 1988. The Year Yellowstone Burned contains many excellent photographs taken by the author as well as maps which illustrate the events throughout that tragic summer. (Paul D. McDermott, professor emeritus, Montgomery College, and author of Eye of the Explorer)
For nearly forty years, Jeff Henry has immersed himself in Yellowstone—as fishing guide, laborer, researcher, ranger, winterkeeper, photographer, and author. In this book, Jeff has drawn on his extensive knowledge and experience to create a vivid, compelling story by combining historical, ecological, political, and personal perspectives of the fires of 1988. He has created an incomparable chronicle of that dramatic time that will only grow in importance as the years go by and memories fade. (Brian Kenner)
About the Author
Jeff Henry has worked in Yellowstone National Park as a seasonal ranger, fire fighter, wildlife researcher, fishing guide, and winterkeeper, while pursuing a career as a professional freelance photographer and writer. He lives outside the park in Emigrant, Montana.
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Top Customer Reviews
Wildfires are now considered to be nature's way of using up old dead wood - conifers grow quickly but rot slowly so fires release the nutrients and make room for seedlings. A fire was named after the area where it started and they quickly merged so immense regions were ablaze at once and only the winter's snows ended them. The rangers just concentrated on saving lives and preserving historic buildings. The author had been with the service for a decade at this time and documented everything. He says it is amazing that nobody was killed that year. Two decades on we can see the new growth sprouting.
This is a fine read with much food for thought, as North America is getting drier and hotter with climate change. Having recently read Future Arctic by Edward Struzik, where fire scientists explain that brush fires, forest fires and tundra fires are becoming increasingly common, with the soot sitting on Arctic snow and absorbing solar heat, I can foresee a lot more of such dramatic and dangerous incidents.