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On Fire: A Conversation with John Maclean
Hosted by Doug Decker
John N. Mclean
Author of “Fire on the Mountain” and “River of Fire: The Rattlesnake Fire and the Mission Boys”
Executive Seminar in Natural Resources Leadership, Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University
“One of the very best writers to deal with the American West.”
– Washington Post
Join the nation’s leading wildfire writer and observer, John N. Maclean, and Oregon’s former State Forester and historian Doug Decker at the World Forestry Center for an evening of lively conversation and unique insights on the complex relationship between fire, forests and people.
Drawing on a lifetime of living with fire and a long career as a reporter and respected author of Fire on the Mountain, Maclean will share his sharp observations on western landscapes, wildfires, firefighting, tragedy, memory, writing, and the art of storytelling.
Craft beer, wine, food, new friends, provocative ideas, and great conversation.
May 2, 2019, 7:00 pm
Doors Open 6 pm
Book Signing 6:30 pm
FREE – Advance Tickets Required
John Norman Maclean, an award-winning author and journalist, has specialized for the past 25 years in writing books and other works about wildland fire. Previously, Maclean was for 30 years a journalist with The Chicago Tribune, most of that time as a correspondent in Washington, DC, where he was one of the “Kissinger 14” who traveled with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the era of shuttle diplomacy.
Maclean resigned from The Tribune in 1995 to write Fire on the Mountain, an account of the 1994 fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado that took the lives of 14 firefighters. The Storm King fire mirrored the Mann Gulch Fire of 1949 that was the subject of his father, Norman Maclean’s earlier book, Young Men and Fire, which helped inspire the younger Maclean’s interest in wildland fire. His most recent book, River of Fire: The Rattlesnake Fire and the Mission Boys, was published in June 2018.
His previous four books chronicle other famous and destructive fires. They are Fire on the Mountain, Fire and Ashes, The Thirtymile Fire, and The Esperanza Fire. He currently is at work on a book about the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire that took the lives of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Maclean, an avid fly-fisherman, divides his time between Washington, DC, and a family cabin in Montana.
Doug Decker served as Oregon State Forester and Director of the Oregon Department of Forestry from 2011-2016, a position he retired from in October 2016. During his 30-year career, Doug led development of the Tillamook Forest Center, a popular forest education and recreation facility west of Portland, and also led funding and acquisition of the 70,000-acre Gilchrist State Forest in Central Oregon. Throughout his 29 fire seasons, Doug welcomed—and learned from—challenging fire assignments across Oregon.
He currently runs the Executive Seminar in Natural Resources Leadership in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University and is chair of the Forest History Society based at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. In his spare time, Doug spends time on a bicycle and writes about old buildings and neighborhood history from his website: alamedahistory.org. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Montana.