Other, better writers have covered the recent tragedy in Yarnell, including the excellent piece by EJ Montini in the Republic on 30 June. Montini closed his column with a perspective on disasters:
It’s what Norman Maclean meant in “Young Men and Fire” when he wrote: “Probably most catastrophes end this way without an ending, the dead not even knowing how they died…, those who loved them forever questioning ‘this unnecessary death,’ and the rest of us tiring of this inconsolable catastrophe and turning to the next one.”
As I publish this, the story of the Yarnell Hill Fire is long from written. However, I’d like to share with you a link to another excellent, highly-descriptive story, “Memories of the Dude Fire,” another firefighting tragedy 23 years ago, written by the Republic’s Glen Creno.
Unfortunately, Creno himself died in 2011.