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During one incendiary summer, Murry Taylor kept an extensive journal of his day-to-day activities as an Alaskan smokejumper. It wasn't his first season fighting wildfires, and he's far from being a rookie—he's been on the job since 1965. Through this narrative of one busy season, Taylor reflects on the years of training, the harrowing adrenaline-fueled jumps, his brushes with death, the fires he conquered, and the ones that got away. It's a world full of bravado, one with epic battles of man versus nature, resulting in stories of death-defying defeats, serious injury, and occasionally tragedy. We witness Taylor's story; learn of the training, preparation, technology, and latest equipment used in fighting wildfires; and get to know his fellow smokejumpers in the ready room, on the tundra, and in the vast forests of one of the last great wilderness areas in the world. Often thrilling and informative and always entertaining, Taylor's memoir is one of the first autobiographical accounts of a legendary career.
About the Author
Murry A. Taylor was a smokejumper on and off for more than thirty years. He was the oldest active smokejumper at the time of his retirement in 2000, and the oldest ever to do the job. He lives in northern California.
Praise for Jumping Fire
"A grand adventure that captures a lifestyle of violent oscillations between terror, boredom, and exhaustion."-Outside
"A beautifully crafted, wise yet thrilling book that will endure as long as there is an appetite for vicarious adventure and a curiosity about why people are driven to do dangerous things that most of us would consider crazy."-Los Angeles Times
"Terrifying, grimly funny . . . An affectionate portrait of a fraternity of daredevils."-The New Yorker