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Children's LiteratureAuthor Bryan describes the May 2000 Los Alamos wildfires with clarity. The introduction to this "Environmental Disasters" book explains how the raging firestorm burned 45,000 acres of wilderness and destroyed more than two hundred homes and businesses. Although the Los Alamos wildfire was not the West's biggest fire, it drew the nation's attention because it was set on purpose by the National Park Service though a policy of "controlled burns." However, the controlled fire became a wild land fire due to a combination of human error and weather conditions. The following chapters describe the reasons for controlled burns, how the fire burned out of control, what was being done to prevent a catastrophe, recovery, and the controversy that surrounds the "controlled burns." Bryan also devotes a chapter on "Learning to Live with Fire" and how the Los Alamos community dealt with the tragedy. Good color photographs, many interesting sidebars, a time line, glossary, further reading and Internet sites are also included. 2004, World Almanac Library, Ages 10 up.
— Della A. Yannuzzi