The essential guide to California's long relationship with fire, updated for the climate-change generation.
What is fire? How are wildfires ignited? How do California's weather and topography influence fire? How did Indigenous people use fire on the land we now call California? David Carle's clearly written, dramatically illustrated first edition of Introduction to Fire in California helped Californians, including the millions who live near naturally flammable wildlands, better understand their own place in the state's landscape. In this revised edition, Carle covers the basics of fire ecology; looks at the effects of fire on people, wildlife, soil, water, and air; discusses fire-fighting organizations and land-management agencies; and explains how to prepare for an emergency and what to do when one occurs.
This second edition brings the wildfire story up to the year 2020, with information about recent extreme and deadly fire events and the evidence that climate change is swiftly changing the wildfire story in California. This update reflects current debates about California's future as a climate-crisis leader facing massive, annual natural disasters; the future of California development and housing; and the critically necessary alternatives to traditional energy options.
David Carle is President of the California State Park Rangers Association, a retired park ranger, and the author of thirteen nonfiction books, including introductions to California's water; air; earth, soil, and land; and fire. He has also written two novels.
"The chapter on 'Getting Ready: Life on the Edge' is worth the price of admission. It diagrams creating a defensible space around your home and what to do during a fire evacuation [...] One way to thank the firefighters and volunteers is to become more informed about fire. This book will help."
– Chico Enterprise-Record
"It tells everything readers need to know about wildfires: how they spread and what their effects are."
– Palo Alto Weekly
"Well written, yet simple enough for broad appeal."
– CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries