|From The Publisher*|
From the #1 bestselling author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce comes a stunning account of a colossal wildfire and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind.
In May 2016, Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada's oil industry and America's biggest foreign supplier, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the lens of this apocalyptic conflagration, John Vaillant warns that this was not a unique event, but a shocking preview of what we must prepare for in a hotter, more flammable world.
For hundreds of millennia, fire has enabled us to cook our food, defend and heat our homes, and power the machines that drive our titanic economy. Yet this volatile energy source has always threatened to elude our control, and in our new age of intensifying climate change, we are seeing its destructive power unleashed in previously unimaginable ways.
With masterly prose and a cinematic eye, Vaillant takes us on a riveting journey through the intertwined histories of North America's oil industry and the birth of climate science, to the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern forest fires, and into lives forever changed by these disasters. John Vaillant's urgent work is a book for-and from-our new century of fire, which has only just begun.
"Riveting, spellbinding, astounding on every page. John Vaillant is one of the great poetic chroniclers of the natural world, and here he captures the majesty and horror of one of its great disasters-and what made it tragically possible." -David Wallace-Wells
"In John Vaillant's vivid anatomy of the apocalyptic Fort McMurray inferno, the histories of humankind's ever-accelerating consumption of fossil fuel, and of our ever-increasing vulnerability to extreme wildfire, converge with the relentlessness of fate - and the urgency of prophecy." -Philip Gourevitch
"A compulsively readable journey into our fiery times. At the center, Vaillant gives us fire itself as a character-fast, hungry, and evolving to shape the warming decades to come. You might never hear an engine or watch a bonfire the same way again." -Bathsheba Demuth
"The Fort McMurray fire was a vortex of people, ideas, institutions, forest, oil, city, and wind, the quirky and the existential, all mutating under the wanton impress of the Anthropocene Age. Fire Weather offers a compelling account of that tragedy, and a reimagining of a pyric infection that threatens to remake the planet." -Stephen Pyne
"Fire Weather is a towering achievement: an immense work of research, reflection and imagination that will, I believe, come to be seen as a landmark in non-fiction reportage on the Anthropocene, or what Vaillant here calls 'the Petrocene'-that epoch defined primarily by humanly enhanced combustion. Fire Weather is extraordinary in terms of its scope and range; it also sings and surprises at the level of the sentence. It grips like a philosophical thriller, warns like a beacon, and shocks to the core." -Robert Macfarlane
JOHN VAILLANT's acclaimed, award-winning non-fiction books, The Golden Spruce and The Tiger, were #1 national bestsellers. His debut novel, The Jaguar's Children, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. He has written for, among others, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and The Walrus. He lives in Vancouver.