Book chronicles fire and its impacts

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Durango Herald Small Press

The account of the Missionary Ridge Fire published immediately after the event, Fire in the Sky, is in its third printing.

The 117-page, full-color book, printed by the Durango Herald Small Press, is dedicated to the memory of Alan Wayne Wyatt, the only firefighter killed during the fire, and the thousands of firefighters who risk their lives fighting wildland fires in the West.

The first printing of 4,200 copies sold out in four days when it appeared in December 2002. Five hundred copies of a second printing of 2,000 remained in April 2012. The third printing of 2,500 has just appeared and is available for the same price, $19.95, by contacting The Durango Herald.

Jim Greenhill, a reporter no longer with The Durango Herald, was the writer. Greenhill wrote much of the book using stories published during coverage of the fire. Photographers were Jerry McBride, who is still with the newspaper, and Nancy Richmond, who is no longer on staff.

Chapters cover the regionwide drought that left overgrown forests vulnerable to fire, the fire and ensuing floods and landslides, recovery efforts and measures taken to prevent a recurrence. The book also has a chronology of the fire’s advance across 72,962 acres and a glossary.