The Heart Of The Fire

Monster wildfires rage in the West--and the biggest was set not by an act of God but by human frailty

John Barton had been honoring the unwritten rule: he could visit his two daughters, but then he would have to leave; there would be no staying over. His wife Terry Lynn expected that of him. She had stopped counting on him for anything else. Their marriage had failed. His friends and family say he had been verbally abusive; they complained about his drinking ("mean, ugly," said his brother) and that he found it difficult to deal with her commitment to her part-time job as a forest ranger. "He just wanted her devoted to him," says a friend. She wanted a divorce...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!