My Lost Brothers: The Untold Story by the Yarnell Hill Fire's Lone Survivor

My Lost Brothers: The Untold Story by the Yarnell Hill Fire's Lone Survivor


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The true story behind the events that inspired the major motion picture Only the Brave.

"unique and bracing" (Booklist) first-person account by the sole survivor of Arizona's disastrous 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, which took the lives of 19 "hotshots"—firefighters trained specifically to battle wildfires.

Brendan McDonough was on the verge of becoming a hopeless, inveterate heroin addict when he, for the sake of his young daughter, decided to turn his life around. He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona. Their leader, Eric Marsh, was in a desperate crunch after four hotshots left the unit, and perhaps seeing a glimmer of promise in the skinny would-be recruit, he took a chance on the unlikely McDonough, and the chance paid off. Despite the crew's skepticism, and thanks in large part to Marsh's firm but loving encouragement, McDonough unlocked a latent drive and dedication, going on to successfully battle a number of blazes and eventually win the confidence of the men he came to call his brothers.

Then, on June 30, 2013, while McDonough—"Donut" as he'd been dubbed by his team—served as lookout, they confronted a freak, 3,000-degree inferno in nearby Yarnell, Arizona. The relentless firestorm ultimately trapped his hotshot brothers, tragically killing all 19 of them within minutes. Nationwide, it was the greatest loss of firefighter lives since the 9/11 attacks.

Granite Mountain is a gripping memoir that traces McDonough's story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very men who had saved him. A harrowing and redemptive tale of resilience in the face of tragedy, Granite Mountain is also a powerful reminder of the heroism of the people who put themselves in harm's way to protect us every day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316308182
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 206,497
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Brendan McDonough is the only survivor of the 2013 fire at Yarnell. Today he is a public speaker and works with numerous nonprofits for veterans, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services. He lives in Prescott, Arizona.

Stephan Talty is the co-author of A Captain's Duty, which was the basis for the film Captain Phillips, and wrote the New York Times bestseller Empire of Blue Water. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

What People are Saying About This

Adam Makos

This is a new breed of war story, of the citizen soldiers who stand between life and death, the forest and the fire. Through burnt moonscapes, in air choked with ash, they face flames as tall as towers and say, 'You shall not pass.' Powerful and lasting, this is a story of men who gave their all. --Adam Makos, New York Times-bestselling author of A Higher Call

Michael Tougias

For an East Coast guy like me this book was a real education in wildfires, and the last few chapters were a terrifying lesson in how they can do the unpredictable. I was left with nothing but admiration for the Granite Mountain hotshot crew who put their lives on the line to protect the town of Yarnell. --Michael Tougias, New York Times-bestselling co-author of The Finest Hours and So Close to Home

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My Lost Brothers: The Untold Story by the Yarnell Hill Fires Lone Survivor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read that gives a great firsthand account of the Yarnell Hill incident
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I drive thru Yarnell every week on the way to a friend's house just north of Yarnell. The wounds are still raw. I found many things in this book that I did not know. The savagery of the fire is still obvious today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago