“Man Against Fire”

The 1960s film Man Against Fire is one of the classics.

The objective of the USFS film must have been to educate the general public about what is involved in suppressing a large wildland fire.

I love the voice of the narrator, Fire Boss “Doug Maxwell”. Unfortunately he was not given a credit in the film. Anyone know who it was?

Kudos to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center for putting these on video and uploading them to YouTube. I only wish they had converted them in a resolution better than 240p.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

5 thoughts on ““Man Against Fire””

  1. I believe the film was produced from a series of film clips from 1968 to 1970 of fires in R-6. I was on several fires on the Willamette NF during that time frame. That was the era of “hair-net meals”, orange fire shirts, and using the National Guard 6X6’s for crew transport.. Also noticed several ODF decals on some of the equipment and uniforms. In one scene there is an operating ski lift and remembered that Willamette Pass ski area lifts were used to transport FF’s to the line in a 1967 fire. In one of the aerial shots near the end you can see a miles long, 200 foot wide dozer line. I remember a lot of discussion about this piece of line in the late ’60’s. Lots of pro and con opinions about the “landing strip” that was built.

    Some of the faces seem very familiar but I couldn’t remember any names.

    The National Geographic magazine produced a supplement called “Fire: The Devils Picnic” about the 1967 R-6 fires. I believe it was published sometime in 1968. A very good read if you can find it

    Dave

  2. Bill, I remember watching the movie and it was a movie withshown by a projector in those days. It was an annual training tool when seasonals were hired in the spring.

  3. In one of the early clips, retired and deceased Ranger Wad Sherman appeared during a planning meeting. He retired from SoOps during the early 1970’s and was earlier famous in the Riverside Ranger Unit. He built many of the old State fire stations in the Riverside Ranger Unit.

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