“This is one scary book—it's hard to imagine a more thorough accounting of the ways we're managing to turn our planet into an inferno.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
A brilliant exploration of the rising phenomenon of megafires—forest fires of alarming scale, intensity, and devastation—that explains the science of what is causing them and captures the danger and heroism of those who fight them
In Megafire, a world-renowned journalist and forest fire expert travels to the most dangerous and remote wildernesses, as well as to the backyards of people faced with these environmental disasters, to look at the heart of this phenomenon and witness firsthand the heroic efforts of the firefighters and scientists racing against time to stop it—or at least to tame these deadly flames.
From Colorado to California, China to Canada, the narrative hopscotches the globe and takes readers to the frontlines of the battle both on the ground and in the air, and in the laboratories, universities, and federal agencies where this issue rages on. Through this prism of perspectives, Kodas zeroes in on a handful of the most terrifying and tumultuous of these environmental disasters in recent years—the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona that took the lives of nineteen elite “hotshot” firefighters, the Waldo Canyon Fire that overwhelmed the city of Colorado Springs—and more in a page-turning narrative that puts a face on the brave people at the heart of this issue. Megafire describes the profound impact of these fires around the earth and will change the way we think about the environment and the essential precariousness of our world.
MICHAEL KODAS is the deputy director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado–Boulder, an award-winning photojournalist and reporter, and author of the best-selling book High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. More information can be found at his website.