Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Fire Season: Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors tells of the decade of summers this Wall Street Journal reporter spent in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness spotting fires.  In 2002 he left his job behind, headed west, and spent five months in a tiny Depression Era fire lookout ten thousand feet up keeping watch over a gigantic area prone to combustion.  Thereafter he returned every summer to take up his post.  In the book, he concentrates on one season, 2009.  What makes this book memorable is Connor’s writing, it is superb.  He jokes, contemplates the power of wind, stresses over the carelessness of campers and smokers in a dry environment.  Most of all, it is like stepping into a solitary wilderness, where the chaotic sound of modern life will abate, and the glorious peace of wilderness will surround you.


— Deon Stonehouse

April 2011 Indie Next List

“In elegant and measured prose, Connors broadens and enriches the whole tradition of nature writing with his own unique experience in the great wilderness. As fire lookout in New Mexico's Gila National Forest, Connors takes the reader inside his own musings and reveals his intimacy with the remote area, its flora and fauna, and inevitably, with its fires. His larger purpose is to reveal the behavior of fire and its crucial role in a healthy ecosystem, as well as to examine our complex relationship with it. A graceful, memorable book.”
— Marie du Vaure, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA

Product Details
ISBN: 9781447208143
Publisher: Pan Publishing
Publication Date: March 1st, 2012