WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Extreme Wildfire by Mark Thiessen


In one moment, there’s a simple spark, and then roaring flames surge 200 feet into the air, devouring forests. Trees, from root to canopy, are burned to the ground. Airtankers and helicopters hover above, executing an air attack. Brave firefighters, equipped with flame resistant suits, leap from helicopters onto the treetops and descend to the blazing forest floor.

In this book, young readers will learn about the ecological impacts of wildfires, the ins and outs of fire science including tactics for prevention and containment, cutting-edge technology used to track wildfires and predict fire behavior, and about the impressive skill, survival tactics, and bravery required to control a wildfire. Also included are expert tips, fun facts, and breathtaking photos taken by the author.


Fire, a topic both fascinating and terrifying, takes center stage in this new book by National Geographic Kids along with the men and women who fight it. Thiessen tells stories about his own experiences getting firefighter certified and some of the fires he's witnessed.  I think that personal touch makes this book all the more compelling.  The variety of stunning photographs doesn't hurt the pull of the book either.  In addition to the stories about real fires, Thiessen also presents information about training, the different types of firefighters, strategies for fighting fires, as well as the basics of wildfires (such as that they require three things to occur: heat, fuel, and oxygen).  Other topics addressed include: fighting fires from the ground, fighting fires from the air, and the ecology of wildfires (why they aren't always bad, and how nature recovers).  The last section of the book talks about how we have to live with wildfires and what we can to do to avoid them when possible. This is a great resource for those interested in firefighting and a fascinating account of a natural phenomenon.


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