The Southwest
208 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
7 halftones, 1 map
Release Date:13 Sep 2016
CA$18.95 Back Order
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The Southwest

A Fire Survey

The University of Arizona Press
With its scattered mountains and high rims, its dry air and summer lightning, its rising tier of biomes from desert grasses to alpine conifers, and its aggressive exurban sprawl, something in the Southwest is ready to burn each year and some high-value assets seem ever in their path. But the past 20 years have witnessed an uptake in savagery, as routine surface burns have mutated into megafires and overrun nearly a quarter of the region’s forests. What happened, and what does it mean for the rest of the country?

Through a mixture of journalism, history, and literary imagination, fire expert Stephen J. Pyne provides a lively survey of what makes this region distinctive, moving us beyond the usual conversations of science and policy. Pyne explores the Southwest’s sacred mountains, including the Jemez, Mogollon, Huachucas, and Kaibab; its sky islands, among them the Chiricahuas, Mount Graham, and Tanque Verde; and its famous rims and borders. Together, the essays provide a cross-section of how landscape fire looks in the early years of the 21st century, what is being done to manage it, and how fire connects with other themes of southwestern life and culture.

The Southwest is part of the multivolume series describing the nation’s fire scene region by region. The volumes in To the Last Smoke also cover California, the Northern Rockies, the Great Plains, Florida, and several other critical fire regions. The series serves as an important punctuation point to Pyne’s 50-year career with wildland fire—both as a firefighter and a fire scholar. These unique surveys of regional pyrogeography are Pyne’s way of “keeping with it to the end,” encompassing the directive from his rookie season to stay with every fire “to the last smoke.”
An elegant and informed treatise on the history and evolving nature of wildfire in our arid and rugged landscape.’—Journal of Arizona History

‘This is an exceptionally readable work; the analyses of events reflect the interpretation of humans, ecology, and institutions.’—Choice

‘An accessible entry point into the kaleidoscopic set of shifting interests that characterize the relationships of fire to the Southwest.’—Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Stephen J. Pyne is a historian in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica, How the Canyon Became Grand: A Short History, and Voyager: Exploration, Space, and the Third Great Age of Discovery. He is also the author of Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America, published by the University of Arizona Press.
Series Preface: To the Last Smoke
Preface to Volume 4
Map of the Southwest
Prologue: Cycles of Fire

Sacred Mountains   
The Jemez: Genesis Effect
The Mogollons: After the West Was Won
The Huachucas: Fire’s Borderlands
The Kaibab: Friendly Fire
Sky Islands  
Rhymes with Chiricahua
Top-Down Ecology: Mount Graham
The View from Tanque Verde

Borders and Rims   
Reinventing a Fire Commons
Thinking Like a Burnt Mountain
Rising from the Ashes
Under the Tonto Rim
Squaring the Triangle: Fire at San Carlos
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Crew in Yarnell

Epilogue: The Southwest Between Two Fires
Note on Sources
Illustrations follow page
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