June 15, 2020
For more than a week, our community has watched the smoke from the Bighorn Fire float up above the Santa Catalina Mountains, which sit just north of Tucson. As of today, the fire has burned more than 14,000 acres of our beloved Sky Island.
But wildfire has been on the mind of all of us at the Press for several years. Since 2015, we have been publishing the works of fire historian Stephen J. Pyne, who has been illuminating the regional and national history of wildfire in the United States.
For this week’s free e-Book of the Week, we’re drawing attention to Pyne’s To the Last Smoke Series by offering The Southwest for free download from our website. The volume helps to explain the challenges wildland firefighters are facing right now with the Bighorn Fire, and why this is likely to be just one of many burns in the Southwest this summer.
The Southwest is part of the multivolume series describing the nation’s fire scene region by region. The volumes in To the Last Smoke serve as an important punctuation point to Pyne’s 50-year career with wildland fire—both as a firefighter and a fire scholar. These unique surveys of regional pyrogeography are Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”
Download here using code AZFIRE20. Available until 6/25/2020.
“An elegant and informed treatise on the history and evolving nature of wildfire in our arid and rugged landscape.”—Journal of Arizona History
“This is an exceptionally readable work; the analyses of events reflect the interpretation of humans, ecology, and institutions.”—Choice
“An accessible entry point into the kaleidoscopic set of shifting interests that characterize the relationships of fire to the Southwest.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly