Firestorm : how wildfire will shape our future / Edward Struzik.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: "In the spring of 2016, the world watched as wildfire ravaged the Canadian town of Fort McMurray. Firefighters named the fire "the Beast" because it behaved in seemingly sinister and often unpredictable ways. Many of them hoped that they would never see anything like it again. Yet it's not a stretch to suggest that megafires like the Beast have become the new normal. A glance at international headlines shows a remarkable increase in higher temperatures, stronger winds, and drier lands- a trifecta for igniting wildfires like we have rarely seen before. Fires are burning bigger, hotter, faster, and more often. In Firestorm, journalist Edward Struzik confronts this new reality, offering a deftly woven tale of science, economics, politics, and human determination. To understand how we might yet flourish in the coming age of megafires, Struzik visits scorched earth from Alaska to Maine, and introduces the scientists, firefighters, and resource managers making the case for a radically different approach to managing wildfire in the twenty-first century. We must begin by acknowledging that fire is unavoidable, and be much more prepared to cope when we cannot completely control the flames. Living with fire also means, Struzik reveals, that we must better understand how the surprising, far-reaching impacts of these massive fires will linger long after the smoke eventually clears."--Jacket flap.
    • Content Notes:
      The beast awakens -- Inside the mind of a wildfire -- A history of fire suppression -- Visions of the Pyrocene -- Water on fire -- The big smoke -- Drought, disease, insects, and wildfire -- Fire on ice -- Agent of change -- Resilience and recovery.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-257).
    • ISBN:
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Booklist Reviews 2017 September #1

Massive wildfires with enormous destructive capability no longer seem to be the exception to the rule as, year by year, new conflagrations consume vast swaths of the North American landscape. These megafires, which, by definition, burn at least 100,000 acres, are not unusual occurrences across the northern United States and Canada, but they are becoming increasingly common in California, the Pacific Northwest, and even in parts of the Deep South and maritime Canada. As industries move into boreal forests, and as climate change creates hotter and dryer conditions and tips delicate ecological balances into the danger zone, the damaging impact of the increased number and velocity of wildfires presents scientists, politicians, citizens, and, of course, intrepid firefighters with more daunting challenges. From how a wildfire develops to ways in which communities cope with its destructive aftermath, the scope of a wildfire's environmental impact is boundless. Combining personal insights with keen investigative-journalistic skills, Struzik (Future Arctic, 2015) presents a comprehensive and compelling overview of the future of wildfire management. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2017 October #1

Opening with a vivid recounting of 2016's Fort McMurray Fire, which caused the biggest fire evacuation in Canada's history, Struzik (Future Arctic) explains how climate change and fire suppression in North America has brought about the current era of still evolving super fires. Capable of producing their own weather patterns, these once rare blazes are now becoming commonplace. As in Michael Kodas's Megafire, Struzik examines individual fires to show how, in addition to drought, insects and disease help to create perfect conditions for flames. He also explains new challenges to firefighting, such as dealing with asbestos-covered trees or Superfund areas, and that firefighting veterans often battle unburnable substances while putting their health at risk. With longer seasons and more people moving to the woods, the scale of future fires promises to overthrow McMurray's record soon. VERDICT As greater and more destructive fires become the norm, this narrative should be required reading for anyone living in an area under the threat of fire as well as those looking to understand its evolution.—Venessa Hughes, Buffalo, NY

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.