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"On August 25, 1931, five men died fighting the devastating Waldron Creek Fire west of Choteau, Montana. Lacking training and preparation, Herbert Novotny, Frank Williamson, Hjalmer G. Gunnarson, Ted Bierchen and Charles Allen dashed into the flames and never stood a chance....National Smokejumper Association chief historian Dr. Charles Palmer shines a light on this important story, finally honoring the heroic sacrifice that led to critical changes in wildland firefighting."--Back cover.
On March 27, 1890, a devastating storm moved over the Ohio River Valley, spawning dozens of deadly tornados. The most powerful of these twisters touched down in Louisville, carving a path of unprecedented destruction from Main Street to the end of town. In the aftermath, nearly eight hundred buildings in the city were destroyed, and over one hundred people perished. In all, the storm produced over twenty-five tornados that day, and it remains the twenty-fifth deadliest storm in U.S. history. Join local author Keven McQueen as he chronicles Louisville's most violent natural disaster, with tales of harrowing rescues and rebuilding.
At 11:37 p.m. on August 17, 1959, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake rocked Montanas Yellowstone country. In an instant, an entire mountainside fractured and thundered down onto the sites of unsuspecting campers. The mammoth avalanche generated hurricane-force winds ahead of it that ripped clothing from backs and heaved tidal waves in both directions of the Madison River Canyon. More than two hundred vacationers trapped in the canyon feared the dam upstream would burst. As debris and flooding overwhelmed the river, injured victims frantically searched the darkness for friends and family. Acclaimed historian Larry Morris tells the gripping minute-by-minute saga of the survivors who endured the interminable night, the first responders who risked their lives and the families who waited days and weeks for word of their missing loved ones.
The story of the Ham Lake fire, at the time the most destructive wildfire in modern Minnesota history--the blaze, the firefighters' battle, the human toll On May 5, 2007, two days into his twenty-seventh trip to the Boundary Waters, Stephen Posniak found a perfect spot on Ham Lake and set about making a campfire. Over the next two weeks, the fire he set would consume 75,000 acres of forest and 144 buildings. More than one thousand firefighters would rally to extinguish the blaze, at a cost of 11 million dollars. Gunflint Burning is a comprehensive account of the dramatic events around the Ham Lake fire, one of the largest wildfires in Minnesota history. Cary J. Griffith describes what happened in the minutes, hours, and days after Posniak struck that fateful match--from the first hint of danger to the ensuing race to flee the fire or defend imperiled property to the incredible efforts of firefighters and residents battling a blaze that lit up the Gunflint Trail like the fuse to a powder keg. We meet locals faced with losing everything: the sheriff and his deputy tasked with getting everyone out alive; tourists caught unawares; men and women using every piece of equipment and modern firefighting technique against impossibly high winds and dry conditions to suppress a wildfire as it grew to historic proportions; and, finally, Stephen Posniak, who in the aftermath tragically took his own life--the fire's only fatality. In sharp detail, Gunflint Burning describes the key events of the Ham Lake fire as they unfold, providing readers with a sense of being on the front lines of an epic struggle that was at times heroic, tragic, and sublime.
For too long, the details of this tragedy have been shrouded in a fog of secrecy. Beyond Tranquillon Ridge is a story that recounts the firefighting efforts during a frenzied 24- hour period known as the "Honda Canyon Fire." It is a history of the strategies and tactics used and it includes many first-hand accounts of the conditions that firefighters and the military faced on the front lines-including the tragic deaths of their comrades. Joseph Valencia offers a brilliant look back; re-creating the sights and sounds of actual firefighting; descriptive overviews of the landscape of South Vandenberg, with rich profiles and command level decisions of the brave men who fought it. In the end, this one day in 1977 stands out as the pivotal time when wind and fire combined into a firestorm and where past compromises affected an outcome.

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