Bay Nature magazineFall 2008


Book Review: Introduction to Fire in California

October 1, 2008

by David Carle, UC Press, 2008, 236 pages, $18.95

This year’s record fire season made it undeniable: Fire is a fact of life in California. Ever wonder why some residential areas in California are susceptible to wildfires? Perhaps you’d like to know what starts these fires and what’s being done to prevent them. If you live in a blaze-prone area, your most pressing question may be what you can do to protect your home.

In An Introduction to Fire in California, you’ll find answers to all these questions. You’ll also learn how fire is a natural part of our landscape and about the science of forest fires and the history of fire management in California. And you won’t have to page through the whole book to find the information you’re seeking; sections are clearly marked and easy to navigate.

The thorough reader will be rewarded with an understanding of forest fire as a natural and necessary phenomenon that shapes California’s ecosystems as dramatically as it does the lives of those in its path. Given the current focus on the destructive power of fire, you may find this is a timely perspective.

About the Author

Laura Hautala is a freelance reporter based in Oakland.