Carole G. Vogel

Writer • Researcher • Family History Specialist

The Great Yellowstone Fire

by Carole G. Vogel and Kathryn A. Goldner


Flames have roared through the vast forests of Yellowstone National Park many times over the centuries. But not since the 1700s had there been a blaze like the one that raced through the park in the summer of 1988.

In clear, vivid language and stunning full-color photographs, The Great Yellowstone Firechronicles the awesome events of that summer—from the small lightning-ignited fires that began leapfrogging through the forests in June; through the incredible destruction on August 20, when flames blackened more of the park in a single day than they had in the previous 100 years; to the exhausting but successful battle in early September to save historic Old Faithful Village.

The book also looks at how the fires have affected the park’s wildlife and offers a unique glimpse into the ancient cycle of renewal that has already begun amid the charred ruins of Yellowstone’s forests and meadows.

Fire has always been, and will continue to be, a natural part of the life cycle of our nation’s parklands and wilderness. The Great Yellowstone Fire gives us a rare opportunity to see that cycle in dramatic action.


Praise for The Great Yellowstone Fire:

“This clear, lively text accompanied by lush, bright, full-color photos portrays the grandeur of Yellowstone Park. Explaining the battle against fire from a historical perspective, the authors carefully explain the changing philosophies. The 1988 fire is detailed chronologically with accurate descriptions of all the methods, hard work, and frustrations of the fire fighters…Well placed photos complement the subjects explained in the text. The fire photos sear with heat, and many of the pictures of wildlife have real child appeal.” – School Library Journal, starred review

“The best [of the recent books] in putting the 1988 fires into a historical perspective and in its arresting, crisply reproduced color photos… The debate on whether or not to control natural fires is recapitulated intelligently; dramatic incidents as the fires threatened buildings, tourists, and wildlife are recounted without sensationalism; and the process of regeneration is movingly described. Well organized, gracefully written and beautifully produced.” – Kirkus

“…Why that great fire happened, what followed in its wake, and what we might expect in the future ecological development of this magnificent park is well presented in this book by two authors who demonstrate their knowledge and creativity in science education. This is a beautiful book; the text is a model of good science writing.” – Appraisal



    • 1999 The Great Yellowstone Fire was named by The Boston Parents’ Paper as one of the 100 Best Children’s Books of the Century.
    • 1998 The Great Yellowstone Fire was touted in the Massachusetts Department of Education English Language Arts Framework as an example of vivid writing.
    • 1991 Children’s Choice. The International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council distinguished The Great Yellowstone Fire as an IRA-CBC Children’s Choice.
  • 1990 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children. The National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council named The Great Yellowstone Fire an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children

The Great Yellowstone Fire was reprinted in Invitations to Literacy: Level 4, a whole-language reading program published by Houghton-Mifflin Co. in 1996, and recorded on audiocassette for this program. A Spanish edition of this program with audiocassette is available.

  • Published by Sierra Club/Little, Brown and Co., 1990
  • 32 pages
  • Grades 3-8
  • ISBN 0-316-90522-4
  • 36 full color photographs