The Big Burn

The story of the nation’s biggest wildfire – an apocalyptic blaze that burned an area the size of Connecticut in a weekend.   No living person had ever seen a fire with the ferocity, speed, and destructive power of the Big Burn of 1910.  Equally dramatic is the larger story of Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, and the creation myth of the U.S. Forest Service. 

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A New York Times Bestseller.  Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and the Washington State Book Award.  A Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and book of the year.  

–“Very few writers have the Pulitzer-Prize winning Egan’s gift for spinning dry history lessons into the stuff of page-turners…Rivering…Historical journalism at its best.” Entertainment Weekly.

–“For as long as Egan keeps chasing storms, whether of dust, fire, rain or snow, you’d be smart to call shotgun.” Los Angeles Times

–“In prose so sizzling it crackles, The Big Burn keeps alive the conservation dreams of Teddy Roosevelt by allowing this story to rise from the ashes once again.”  The Denver Post

–“This book – which is a masterwork in every sense – is worthy of a very careful reading.” The Christian Science Monitor

–“The Big Burn vividly recreates disaster through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it (though this time without the benefit of first-hand accounts). It’s another incredible–and incredibly compelling–feat of historical journalism.” Jon Foro,, best of the month, 2009.