Introduction

The past 50 years have witnessed remarkable changes in American fire policy, institutions, sciences, and practices. Yet the standard history, Fire in America, ends in the 1970s. It misses the momentous events that make America’s great cultural revolution on fire. But more is at stake than missing years. The revolution changed the storyline. It deserves its own narrative.

The federal agencies have generously agreed to fund a sequel study that will survey the history from 1960 to 2012. The project will result in two books. Between Two Fires: A Fire History of America, 1960-2012 will relate the basic narrative. To the Last Smoke will assemble an anthology of essays to highlight particular places, personalities, and practices. Between Two Fires will thus serve as the play-by-play record, and To the Last Smoke as the color commentary, as organized around regions.

Shift plan for 2014 ~

To the Last Smoke has passed review by the University of Arizona Press, which will publish up to eight regional surveys.  Meanwhile, Between Two Fires, completed in draft a year ago, is currently under review by UAP.  It’s my hope that the two works, conceived as complements, can be published together.

Because of its bulk, I’m seriously considering a much shorter, popular version of Between Two Fires (tentatively titled Friendly Fire, Feral Fire) to be published in a venue yet to be determined.  My primary task, however, is to move the project texts into print.

For other essays and commentaries, I’ll use Here and There as a cache.

Funding for the general project has come from the U.S. Forest Service, Department of the Interior, and Joint Fire Science Program.

Steve Pyne

For biographical information, see my ASU website and author’s page