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Children's LiteratureWhen it comes to forest fires, the "burning question" is whether to let the fire run its own course, as long as people or private property are not in jeopardy, or to control all fires. In 1988 on a hot summer night in Yellowstone National Park, a dry lightning storm, a common culprit, set the forest on fire. Unlike people involved in two historically catastrophic fires, "The Great Hinckley Fire" in Minnesota, in 1894 and the fire in Matheson, Canada, in 1916, where hundreds of people died, the Forest Service had to choose how to respond. This could have been one of the 72,000 small scale forest fires that occur annually in the United States, the majority of which are beneficial to the forest and go out all by themselves. As is turned out, the Yellowstone fire involved over one million acres in three states, thwarting manpower, technology, and experience, for the three months it took to extinguish. No human lives were lost. While the "burning question" remains, the author provides amazing historic facts and pictures that bring vivid representation to this question. 2000, Mondo Publishing, Ages 8 to 12.
— Barbara Kennedy