“A fascinating overview of how fires are fought. Conversation-starters for how we might re-imagine our relationship with the woods.” –Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“For readers seeking a nuanced understanding of America’s increasingly extreme wildfire problem, this is a superb overview. It’s just the sort of book I wish someone had handed me when I became a fire lookout fifteen years ago. I learned much from it. You will too.”  —Philip Connors, author of  Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout

“Land on Fire provides a complete view of what it is like to deal with the extreme nature of wildfires out of control, and what the future may bring.” —Bob Fry, Type 2 Incident Commander, Northern Rockies

“Comprehensive. . . . highly readable.” —The Denver Post

“A profusely illustrated. . . fact-filled. . . eloquent account [that] does precisely what it sets out to do.” —The Oregonian

Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West

Timber Press, 2017, hardcover


Wildfire season is burning longer and hotter, affecting more and more people, especially in the West. Land on Fire explores the fascinating science behind this phenomenon and the ongoing research to find a solution. This gripping narrative details how years of fire suppression and chronic drought have combined to make the situation so dire. Award-winning nature writer Gary Ferguson brings to life the extraordinary efforts of those responsible for fighting wildfires, and deftly explains how nature reacts in the aftermath of flames. Dramatic photographs reveal the terror and beauty of fire, as well as the staggering effect it has on the landscape.