Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout

Philip Connnors has a very interesting job - he is a wilderness lookout, living five months of the year in a tower 10,000 feet above sea level, watching over the Gila National Forest. Connors enjoys this solitary life. At one time he had a job at the Wall Street Journal, living in New York City. However, after visiting a friend who worked as a lookout the appeal of this unique profession intrigued him enough that he decided to pursue this new career path. In this book Connors shares what one season (April - August) at his job entails. While there are no major fires to report during the season he writes of, Collins manages to include some history about our forests and information about fires and our national forests. While I didn't enjoy the historical aspect of this novel as much as the parts about Collins own experiences at his job, the entire book is extremely well written and an provides an interesting look at a job that very few people perform in this day and age. Reading about Collins job it makes me a bit sad to think that technology could eventually replace all the wilderness lookouts, eliminating the need to have people who love and care for these national treasures and replacing them with a computer instead.

I enjoyed this book a great deal and can think of many people that I will tell about it. A great non-fiction book, wonderful for nature lovers, and those who enjoy history as well.

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