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Drift Smoke

Loss and Renewal in a Land of Fire

David Strohmaier

Publication Year: 2005

Published by: University of Nevada Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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p. vii

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pp. ix-xiv

When I first accepted a high school friend’s invitation to join the Crooked River Ranch Volunteer fire Department in central Oregon, I couldn’t have envisioned that twenty-five years later I’d be writing about fire. At the time, in the early 1980s, volunteering to ...

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pp. xv-xxii

The American West is a storied landscape inscribed by loss: loss of species, loss of peoples, loss of cultures, loss of lands, loss of livelihoods, loss of hopes and dreams. This is an old story, at least as old as the late–Ice Age extinctions of megafauna some

Part I

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p. xxiv

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1. Winds

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pp. 3-16

Deep within the brain of every rookie firefighter are branded the words fuel, weather, and topography—the godhead of fire behavior. No forest or range fire burns apart from the influence of these factors. Among the three, weather is the most variable, and ...

Part II

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p. 17

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2. Slow Smother | Loss of fire

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pp. 19-43

We can’t be sure why they came. We aren’t even sure exactly when they came. But sometime during the last great ice age, probably between 12,000 and 35,000 years ago, people entered Beringia, the land bridge and adjoining ice-free areas connecting ...

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3. Learning to Remember | Loss of Life

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pp. 44-80

We thought we had the son of a bitch licked. Lisa, Trevor, Glen, and I had spent the morning and early afternoon mopping up the perimeter of what we were now calling the “Smith Canyon fire.” With a measly two hundred gallons of water on the back of ...

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4. Winter Feed | Loss of Livelihood

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pp. 81-102

Whereas loss of fire and loss of life are objectively present in smoke-free horizons and granite crosses on windblown ridges, other losses are more “perspectival.” They are losses every bit as much as those smoldering in the first two cairns, but they are ...

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5. Threescore and Ten | Loss of Place

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pp. 103-117

He died protecting his pines. It was spring 1948, and Aldo Leopold was spending time with his family at their beloved cabin they called “the Shack.” Over the years, he had planted close to thirty thousand trees and shrubs on the property, trying to ...

Part III

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p. 119

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6. Drift Smoke

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pp. 121-139

Light drizzle fell as I began down the trail, between granite crosses and thick Gambel oak. Four years after my first visit to Storm King Mountain I had returned, only to be driven from its slopes by the dark underbelly of a thunderstorm. A camera ...


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pp. 141-155


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pp. 157-168


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pp. 169-177

E-ISBN-13: 9780874176544
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874176216

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2005

OCLC Number: 61479314
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Drift Smoke

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Subject Headings

  • Fire ecology -- West (U.S.).
  • Strohmaier, David J. (David Jon), 1965-.
  • Wildfires -- Prevention and control -- West (U.S.).
  • Wildfires -- Environmental aspects -- West (U.S.).
  • Wildfire fighters -- West (U.S.).
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