Western wildfire spreads awareness at City College

Photo+Illustration%3A+The+annual+SBCC+Reads+is+giving+away+free+copies+of+Timothy+Egan%E2%80%99s+book+titled%2C+%E2%80%9CThe+Big+Burn%3A+Teddy+Roosevelt+and+the+Fire+that+Saved+America.%E2%80%9D+The+book+describes+the+nation%E2%80%99s+largest+wildfire+that+burned+more+than+three+million+acres+in+two+days.

Charlotte Knegt

Photo Illustration: The annual SBCC Reads is giving away free copies of Timothy Egan’s book titled, “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.” The book describes the nation’s largest wildfire that burned more than three million acres in two days.

Lex Joergensen, Channels Staff

In 1910 a wildfire swept across Washington, Idaho and Montana destroying the lush forests.

The fire burned more than three million acres in two days, making The Big Burn the largest wildfire in the history of America. It was one of the most powerful and fastest spreading fires witnessed.

“Rather than tell you what history is, it shows you,” said Elizabeth Bowman, outreach and collection development librarian.

Author Timothy Egan took this historic incident and created his famous book titled, “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.”

Egan’s book was chosen for this years SBCC Reads.

For more than six years students and librarians from both City College and UCSB pick one book for SBCC Reads. After choosing they arrange different activities and events discussing the topics mentioned in the book.

The reason Egan’s book was chosen is because wildfires appear every year causing major damages in California.

Bowman is responsible for choosing the SBCC Reads book at the Luria library.

“Its been slow because nobody is required to read it. Usually by now they are all gone,” Bowman said. “But that’s exciting because people might read it after the author comes.”

Starting Feb. 5, the Luria Library handed out free copies of the book to students. The Library uses a Facebook page to get students involved. So far, the librarians have handed half of the free copies out.

Bowman said student’s reactions to the book are positive and enjoy reading it.

Egan writes about the fire mixed together with the story of President Teddy Roosevelt’s efforts with Gifford Pinchot, the chief forester, in the fight to protect our nation’s natural resources.

Egan continues the book by putting the social, cultural and political history in a chronological order. He tells the historic events that led up to the formation of the U.S. forest service.

He includes Roosevelt and Pinchot’s work together as pioneers to create the idea of making public land into a national treasure.

On March 5, there will be a discussion panel about the book with faculty professors and the captain of the Santa Barbara Fire Department.

City College students that have finished reading the book are thrilled with Egan’s work.

“I just started reading the book, it’s interesting. Egan is a phenomenal author,” said Francis Kirkland, history major.

Kirkland said that she and a couple of friends plan to attend Egan’s speech and book signing.

Egan will speak at 8 p.m., Tuesday March 4, at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. After the speech he will then do a book signing.