Derrick was down in the gulch below Twenty-Mile when he saw it, a wall of flames cresting the draw. He cursed the lack of a radio, but they never worked that well up here anyway.

The wind roared up the gorge, the inferno drawing air like a well-built fireplace. No way to fight it now that it was crowning.

He looked at the fireline he’d been digging all morning. It looked pathetically small. A Pulaski was a good enough tool, but no match for a blaze like this one.

He wiped the sweat from his face and made his decision.


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