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Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more does a novel need?

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Book By Author:  Ralph T Ryan

WILDFIRE Memoires of a wildland firefighter
 WILDFIRE Memoires of a wildland firefighter

WILDFIRE is an exhilarating tale of the lenghts one man goes in pursuit of a dream. Told he'll never make the cut to become an elite California Smokejumper, Ralph Ryan employs laser-like focus, a "never give up" attitude, and the calming mental training of Eastern mysticism to earn the right to leap out of planes and fight forest fires. There's beauty and danger in these pages, filled with bird's eye views of the world from beneath a parachute, and raging blazes just steps away. When an accident results in a broken back, Ryan offers all of us a moving lesson in belief in oneself and overcoming our own bleakest days. This is a funny, fast-paced insiders look at one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and the passion that accompanies smokejumpers every time they bail above the flames.

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A page burner tale of a true to life smoke jumper!


Every summer we start seeing news reports of wildfires springing up. News footage, water planes and forest fire crews fill the screen.  However the untold stories of these crews, especially the elite “smoke jumpers,” usually fail to be told. Wildfire: Memoires of a Wildland Firefighter by Ralph Ryan catapults you right into how a young man, with more determination than most men, fought his way through horrendous working conditions and mental fatigue to achieve his dream of becoming a smoke jumper. The author, Ryan, takes the reader through chronological stories of various events and fires in his firefighting career throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s that not only entertain and make you cheer but also educate on how smoke jumpers came to be. You quickly understand how close knit the community of firefighters are, but also see the other side of the politics and rivalry between ground crews and the smoke jumpers. Smoke jumping has to be in the top ten most dangerous professions and the antics of these elite will make you laugh and shake your head at the shear lunacy of jumping out of a plane into a roaring forest fire. Don’t get me wrong, I am not putting down these brave men, but reading Wildfire you will get a sense that these smoke jumpers are cut from the same cloth, living on the edge as fighter pilots, military assault troops, race car drivers, etc.

Ryan was not only a successful smoke jumper, but he also has a promising career as a writer. His laidback approach to his memoires includes a host of various characters making the read quick and leaving the reader wanting more. His writing style brings each fire he fought back to life. While reading Wildfire, I was in a secluded cabin over a couple of days and kept looking up across the lake to a mountain side of burnt trees. Too close to home. I hope that Ryan continues to write and I would like to see more from this new author.

Author Details

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Ralph Ryan Author:  Ralph T Ryan


Ralph Ryan fought wild land fires from California to Florida, Oregon to Alaska, for fourteen seasons serving on fire engines, initial attack Helishot crew, and Smoke Jumping with the US Forest Service and the BLM.