Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History

Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History Download Prairie+Fire%3A+A+Great+Plains+History

Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History

Prairie fires have always been a spectacular and dangerous part of the Great Plains. Nineteenth-century settlers sometimes lost their lives to uncontrolled blazes, and today ranchers such as those in the Flint Hills of Kansas manage the grasslands through controlled burning. Even small fires, overlooked by history, changed lives—destroyed someone's property, threatened someone's safety, or simply made someone's breath catch because of their astounding beauty.

Julie Courtwright, who was born and raised in the tallgrass prairie of Butler County, Kansas, knows prairie fires well. In this first comprehensive environmental history of her subject, Courtwright vividly recounts how fire—setting it, fighting it, watching it, fearing it—has bound Plains people to each other and to the prairies themselves for centuries. She traces the history of both natural and intentional fires from Native American practices to the current use of controlled burns as an effective land management tool, along the way sharing the personal accounts of people whose lives have been touched by fire.

The book ranges from Texas to the Dakotas and from the 1500s to modern times. It tells how Native Americans learned how to replicate the effects of natural lightning fires, thus maintaining the prairie ecosystem....

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