Wildfire and Americans: How to Save Lives, Property, and Your Tax Dollars

Roger G. Kennedy

The wildfires that are a rite of summer in Western states were, until the early 1900s, more common in places like Wisconsin and Maine. This book by a former director of the National Park Service suggests that people simply shouldn’t live in dry areas alongside logging or ranching. Wildfires can follow lightning strikes as well as careless campfires but are worsened because logging and ranching leave behind fast-burning kindling and scrub. National forests set aside in Eastern states have saved countless lives. Bringing a unique historical and philosophical perspective to the issue, Roger G. Kennedy’s main message is that federal highway and mortgage policies induced people to settle in unsafe areas, and changing those policies can bring people—including those who fight wildfires—back out again.