Cover image for Fire in their eyes : wildfires and the people who fight them
Fire in their eyes : wildfires and the people who fight them
Beil, Karen Magnuson.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, [1999]

Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Depicts in text and photographs the training, equipment, and real-life experiences of people who risk their lives to battle wildfires, as well as people who use fire for ecological reasons.
Reading Level:
1010 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.3 1.0 28502.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 8.1 5 Quiz: 22031 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SD421.3 .B45 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



What drives some people to stand in the path of a wall of flame? Who are these brave, foolhardy, visionary firefighters? This intimate look at the elite groups that fight wildfires explores the trials, tragedies, and triumphs of these courageous few as they battle wilderness blazes from Alaska to Maine. From the grueling training of a smokejumper class in Montana, through harrowing fights with some up-close-and-personal wildfires, to a group of inspired conservationists who use fire as a tool for preservation, Karen Magnuson Beil takes readers where only a few have ventured--into the heart of one of nature's most destructive and unpredictable forces: fire.

Author Notes

Karen Magnuson Beil is an editor, journalist, photographer, teacher, mother, and author of two other books for young readers. In researching Fire in Their Eyes , she worked on burn crews for two seasons, documented a Montana smokejumper class, and interviewed dozens of people to create a close-up portrait of ordinary heroes.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-7. In a profession that catches workers somewhere between daredevil and do-gooder, smokejumpers risk their lives to protect the wilderness. Beil profiles a handful of men and women, capturing the drama, excitement, and danger of their job, and describing the tools, methods, and training that help them do their work. Beil's own photographs reflect the roller coaster pace of the work--from the burly man sitting at a sewing machine, repairing his parachute, to a tree exploding in a column of fire. The lack of an index limits the book's usefulness for reports, but the picture-book format and exciting photography will draw both readers and browsers. Pair this with Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Fire (1998), which contains more on the science of forest fires and the controlled burn method of preservation. A glossary is appended. --Randy Meyer

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-A dramatic account of the training and work of a firefighter as well as the role of fire in the natural world. Every page is packed with fascinating facts that will hold readers' attention. In addition, graphic full-color photographs convey the intensity, violence, and power of fire as well as the multi-tasked operations that firefighters undertake. While this book has a wealth of information for researchers, its organization does not promote such use. Chapter headings such as "Torch!" are exciting, but don't give a clear indication of content. In fact, this chapter begins with a discussion of the uses of fire to help wildlife and woodlands. Also, the glossary is incomplete. However, the book has lots of drama and appeal, making it well suited to browsing and leisure reading.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.