A Just War

Fire Fighter Jeff Brand looks like hell. His unshaven face is covered with grime, his eyes are swollen and bloodshot, and his raspy speech is punctuated with third-degree coughs and sniffles. "I'm sick as a dog," he growls. The dense smoke on the fire line in Northern California's Klamath National Forest has cut visibility to a lung-searing 150 ft. It is eclipsing the sun like a primordial fog and slowly choking the solemn line of fire fighters. Brand, 26, from Kentfield, Calif., pauses occasionally on the steep slope to vomit discreetly in the woods. "This is unhealthy as hell," he says,...

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