The definitive account of one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history, which killed nineteen elite firefighters of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and also inspired the major motion picture Only the Brave.
“A tear-jerking classic.”—Outside • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Men’s Journal
On June 28, 2013, a single bolt of lightning sparked an inferno that devoured more than eight thousand acres in northern Arizona. Twenty elite firefighters—the Granite Mountain Hotshots—walked together into the Yarnell Hill Fire, tools in their hands and emergency fire shelters on their hips. Only one of them walked out.
An award-winning journalist and former wildland firefighter, Kyle Dickman brings to the story a professional’s understanding of how wildfires ignite, how they spread, and how they are fought. He understands hotshots and their culture: the pain and glory of a rough and vital job, the brotherly bonds born of dangerous work. Drawing on dozens of interviews with officials, families of the fallen, and the lone survivor, he describes in vivid detail what it’s like to stand inside a raging fire—and shows how the increased population and decreased water supply of the American West guarantee that many more young men will step into harm’s way in the coming years.
Praise for On the Burning Edge
“Dickman weaves a century of fire-management history into the fully realized stories of the men’s lives—the sweat, the adrenaline, the orange glow of fire within their aluminum shelters, and the chewing gum that hotshot Scott Norris left in the shower before telling his girlfriend, Heather, ‘I’ll take care of it later. I promise.’”—Outside
“Dickman offers a riveting account of a dangerous occupation and acts of nature most violent—and those who face both down.”—Library Journal