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 U.S. Forest Service, Dept of Interior, and Joint Fire Science Program 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.