|Geskakmina Fire, Alaska|
|Lonely Fire, Grand Canyon|
I stay because fire is one of the purest things I know. A fire only wants to burn. Climb a hill and watch this. Watch how it moves over the land like water moves over stone. Watch what happens when it comes to a barrier and moves around it like a current. Watch it find a way.
A fire can surprise you, but it won't betray you, not like a person can. Take your time. Read the forest, how it grows and dies, when it brims with moisture and when it thirsts for rain, how the wind walks through the trees, and the pattern of the canyons running to the ridgetops. When you really know these things, you can begin to trace the path a fire will take. After being a firefighter for half my life, even though I see fires burn in my dreams, I'm still learning. That's why I'm still here. That's why I stay.