Inaccurate, Misleading Representaion of Firefighting
I lived within 12 miles of the fires this is based upon when they occurred in 1988 and this is a gross misrepresentation of the danger, both then and now. I also have been a firefighter and am trained in the use of fireline explosives.
While the sensationalism and misleading information about firefighting and crew relationships may keep the novice viewer on the edge of their seats, it does an injustice to both the opportunity to educate the public and to the crews that fight the fires. The special effects are dramatic, but fires do not simply appear out of nowhere and rangers would not be letting people set up camps, or even picnic, if there was imminent danger. The only thing I see that even comes close to accuracy is the misunderstanding and poor implementation of the "Let Burn Policy". While this did happen in '88, it would not happen today, as those fires served to clarify this policy long ago.
Finally, firefighters in general treat their superiors respectfully, even when they disagree, just as in the military, because their very lives depend on doing so. If they disagreed with a decision they would handle that disagreement by giving feedback with respect for the process that achieves fine-tuning of an evolving and effective plan.
This movie is simply a disservice to the entire process of forest firefighting, and is tacky to boot. Its only saving grace is that it has a pretty decent cast. Unfortunately this isn't enough to redeem what could have been a pretty good film if more thought, consultation with experts, and attention to detail had gone into its production.
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