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ISBN 13: 978-1-55017-898-2
ISBN 10: 1-55017-898-9
16-page colour insert, 30 BW & colour photos
5.5 x 8.5 - 240 pp
May 2020
CAD$24.95 • USD$24.95


Hot Times in the British Columbia Woods

A lively, hair-raising memoir about working in the British Columbia logging industry back in the days when anything went.

Book Description

Nick Raeside worked at many jobs in the logging business but the one that he specialized in was starting forest fires—small, (hopefully) controlled forest fires that were approved by the Forest Service—indeed, required by them—as a means of cleaning up logging slash or debris-laden sites left after the merchantable timber had been removed. It was a crude way of reducing fire hazard and clearing the ground for replanting, and there was a constant danger that the controlled burns would get away and become real wildfires, destroying millions of dollars’ worth of standing timber. Raeside found this challenge irresistible.

In Slashburner, Raeside recounts many hilarious anecdotes from his career in the BC woods during the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. He worked as a forest firefighter for a time, but discovered he was more interested in starting fires than putting them out, and found his calling in slashburning. In between pissing on rain gauges to fake wetter weather and lighting each other’s pants on fire, Raeside and his slashburning crews rampaged throughout southern BC armed with drip torches, chainsaws and homemade explosives. They lit fires. They put some of them out. They survived rockslides, animal encounters and flare fights. Slashburner is a rollicking tale of the good old times in the logging business when danger and excitement were the order of the day and almost everyone you met was a memorable character. Raeside captures the flavour of that era as few have done before. 

Including thirty colour photos that prove it actually did all happen, Slashburner is the first book to take readers beneath the smoke cloud to find out what really takes place on a slashburn.