(Mark R. Corbet)
This rare glimpse into the world of Smokejumping consists of 37 short stories recounting memorable events related to parachuting to back country wildfires. Challenges, mistakes, natural beauty and hardships of a frequently grueling job. Problem solving, facing up your mistakes, overcoming stress and finding that last remnant of strength you have to get the job done.
Stories about becoming surrounded by fire, cowering during a lightning storm much too close for comfort, heading for the forest floor in a falling tree, days when everything seem to go wrong, when nature seems to have gang up on you, brutal packouts, close calls, not being allowed to do the job, finding humor amid chaos, making bad choices, trying to do the right thing, admitting that fate might be in control sometimes and seeing the beauty all around you — this is Between The Dragon And His Wrath.
The book tittle is from a line in Shakespeare’s King Lear: “Come not between the dragon and his wrath.” Each Chapter tittle is accompanied by an Epigraph from Shakespeare.
Author Mark Corbet was born and raised in Eastern Oregon, first near the foot of Steens Mt. and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Later he and his family lived on a cattle ranch in Harney County. After graduating from high school he first attended Southern Oregon University then the University of Oregon where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. He paid for his education by working on farms, at a lumber mill and fighting fires for the BLM and Forest Service.
After graduation Mark applied for and was accepted into the Smokejumping program, first working for seven seasons in La Grande then for 24 more in Redmond. During that time he parachuted to over 300 wildfires from Virginia to Alaska and nearly all of the western states. His book recounts some of his most memorable times as a Smokejumper.
He and his wife now live on a small farm in Deschutes County where they raise Orchard Grass hay and a German Shepherd.
Between The Dragon And His Wrath is available locally at Roundabout Books and Dudley’s Bookshop in Bend, Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Sunriver Books & Music in Sunriver, Herringbone Books in Redmond, the Redmond Smokejumper Base in Redmond and online from the National Smokejumper Association’s web site at smokejumpers.com, just click the ‘Store’ tab then ‘Books $ DVDs’ tab and on eBay. In addition, copies can be checked out from the Deschutes County and Crook County Libraries. During the COVID-19 closures, check individual websites for local online ordering availability.