CATASTROPHE: Boomers & Howlers

. . . They watched the fire all night

Stream toward Cachagua; the

big-coned inland pines

Made pillars of white flame. . . .

—Robinson Jeffers.

Little fires hiss and crackle. Big fires boom and howl. Boomers and howlers aplenty reverberated last week under western U. S. skies, advancing with gargantuan halloo on tinder-dry forests, wheat fields, grazing lands, defenceless towns. From streets, from factories, from jails went forth thousands of volunteers and conscripts to reenforce desperate, haggard foresters.

In the Pacific Northwest electrical storms, bringing no quenching rain, touched off countless...

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