Phil and Sandy crouch behind the underbrush that grows heavily beneath the canopy of the remains of a conifer forest in the highlands of Dixie National Forest. To the West, the exposed coral cliffs of Cedar Breaks National Monument drop suddenly and expose a vast chasm. To the East, the Grand Escalante Staircase National Monument makes its gradual terraced descent to Lake Powell. In between these protected landscapes a green ribbon of dying forest is making its final collective gasps of released oxygen into the atmosphere as it succumbs to the onslaught of mountain pine beetles. The ground beneath their feet is covered in the crisp, yellow needles and bark shavings of the dead Ponderosa pine\u00a0that towers above them with its dead spindly branches quivering in the night breeze.\r\n\r\nThey each hold a pair of binoculars to their eyes as they monitor the progress of the film production crew that is busily engaged in shooting the raw footage for the film adaptation of The Monkey Wrench Gang. The crew is bathed in a sharp bright light that shines blindingly from light fixtures that surround the production and give the director full control of lighting. The lights dim as the cameras start rolling.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s him,\u201d Sandy whispers as the two train their binoculars on the man who climbs onto the caterpillar tread of the giant bulldozer set piece in the soft artificial light.\r\n\r\n\u201cI still can\u2019t believe they got Matthew McConaughey to be in this crappy movie. I kinda liked the guy until now.\u201d The actor in the distance pours something into the fuel tank, then he climbs into the operator\u2019s seat of the machine. He turns on the machine, and Phil and Sandy can feel the vibrations from the bulldozer drown out the smaller vibrations from the bank of generators that hum along the outer perimeter of the production site. After powering on the bulldozer, McConaughey, as George Hayduke, jumps out of the cab and acts startled. He looks uphill from the bulldozer to see a masked man on a horse. The horse rears on its hind legs, whinnies, and then horse and rider leap over one of the fallen logs that have been meticulously arranged to make the forest look like the site of a logging operation.\r\n\r\n\u201cI can\u2019t believe they actually let them cut down some trees for the set.\u00a0 I thought it was official Forest Service policy to save them all for the beetles,\u201d Sandy whispers under her breath with her trademark snark.\r\n\r\n\u201cOur friends in the government will bend over backwards for their friends in Hollywood. You know that.\u201d\r\n\r\nAfter the horse and rider disappear into the darkness the floodlights power back on, and the production zone is once again bathed in blinding light. McConaughey sits on the caterpillar tread as his director, the great Robert Redford himself, and the cinematographer discuss something. A woman comes out of a nearby trailer and checks his make up and hair.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think now is a good time,\u201d Phil says. He is wearing a ghillie suit that Solomon had helped him make. He and Solomon had grown close over the last several weeks after Cedar Mesa Ranch hired him to oversee the construction of the lab and the consumer-grade wind turbine installations. On weekends, he and Solomon would go camping together, and Solomon had been teaching him survival and hunting skills. Sandy, on the other hand, had been recuperating at home from her broken ankle. Even tonight, she is still wearing a brace, but she has become accustomed to it to the point that she is now one hundred percent mobile, even though when she walks it still looks somewhat awkward with her rigid foot brace that doesn\u2019t allow the ankle to bend.\r\n\r\nSandy stays behind to play the role of lookout. The two had perfected their imitation of the call of the great horned owl. One hoot means to stop and wait. Two hoots means coast is clear. A prolonged series of four distinct hoots means abort.\r\n\r\nPhil takes an indirect route from tree trunk to tree trunk until he arrives at the single axle trailer with a water tank on it. Hailey had informed them that the film crew was required by their permit to haul water into the Dixie National Forest as a precautionary measure in case an accidental fire was started. At the front of the trailer a gas-powered pump is connected to the water tank and a hose to enable power spraying. Phil hides behind the tree that is closest to the trailer, and when he hears two series of hoots he runs across the clearing between the tree and the trailer and crouches behind the trailer where he is obstructed from the view of the members of the crew that are busily engaged in preparing the next take. Phil locates the spark plug on the pump\u2019s motor and fishes a socket wrench from his jacket pocket and quickly removes the spark plug and puts it in his pocket.\u00a0 After two more hoots, he runs back into the cover of the forest.\r\n\r\nAfter disconnecting the spark plug, it doesn\u2019t take long for Phil to get into position camouflaged in the underbrush just outside the perimeter of the floodlights. The floodlights dim again, and the film crew does another take of the previous scene. After the floodlights power back on, McConaughey walks directly towards Phil to the spot where he had smoked his most recent cigarette. The actor stares into the black silhouettes of the dying trees as he leans against his knee that is raised upwards by resting his foot on a log. He smokes a cigarette down to the butt. When he finishes smoking he drops the butt into the dirt and stamps it out. When he is done smoking, he returns to the set.\r\n\r\nOnce the floodlights dim again, and the small army that makes up the film production crew is consumed in their work, Phil belly-crawls to the spot where the actor\u2019s cigarette lies extinguished in the dirt. Phil is lying near another mound of bark chips and dead pine needles, and he fills the distance between the cigarette butt and the mound of bark chips and needles that pile beneath the flayed tree carcass with a trail of the dead matter. He pulls a lighter from his pocket and sets the pile on fire where it now reaches to the cigarette butt. He then lights the larger mound of fuel in three more places when he hears the series of four hoots that means its time to retreat.\r\n\r\nHe ducks behind a thick hedge of undergrowth only a few yards away from the fire that is now growing in size just as one of the set dressers is one of the first members of the film crew to arrive at the scene of the fire.\r\n\r\n\u201cFire!\u201d He shouts. \u201cSomeone get the water hose going. Quick!\u201d The set dresser believes the fire is still small enough to be stamped out, but when he stomps into the heart of the flames the embers just scatter into the chips of bark and dead pine needles that ignite almost instantaneously.\r\n\r\nOthers begin to arrive, and Phil tries not to chuckle when McConaughey arrives at the scene with a frightened look on his face. But he can\u2019t help it.\r\n\r\n\u201cServes you right, you phony Hollywood, environmentalist, idiot,\u201d Phil says under his breath.\r\n\r\n\u201cDon\u2019t just watch, you idiots. We need to get the water.\u201d The set dresser shouts as he is the first one with enough common sense to run to the water tank. He straddles the pump and grabs the rip chord, and pulls. He doesn\u2019t expect so much resistance, but without the spark plug inserted to start the fuel cycle, the chord is only pulled to half its length, and the set dresser loses his balance and falls backwards off of the trailer. He gets back up onto the trailer and tries again. This time he is able to pull out the length of the chord, but not with nearly enough speed to start the engine.\r\n\r\n\u201cLet me try,\u201d McConaughey pulls the set dresser down, and climbs onto the trailer himself.\u00a0 He pulls the chord frantically, and with each pull he shouts a different cuss word.\u00a0 There is still no response from the disabled engine.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat\u2019s wrong? Why won\u2019t it start? Did anybody test this before we hauled this trailer up here?\u201d Robert Redford, is now shouting these questions to anyone within earshot, but no one answers them. Meanwhile the flames start licking the tortured trunk of the nearest tree. As the majority of the crew is consumed with trying to start the water pump, Phil retreats back to Sandy\u2019s position. The two are downhill from the flames, so barring any erratic wind behavior, they should have enough time to escape to their vehicle that is parked at a campground about a mile downhill.\u00a0 As entertaining as it would be to watch the rest of this disaster unfold, they decide to put their respect for Nature and desire for self-preservation first and retreat. The last thing they hear as they navigate through the brush is a member of the crew shouting.\r\n\r\n\u201cHey guys! Hey! I have two\u2026 no one bar of service on my phone. Tell me the model of the pump. I will look up a troubleshooting guide online.\u201d\r\n\r\nPhil and Sandy are long out of earshot when the same crew member comes to the conclusion that his phone was taunting him. By that point the flames had engulfed the tree and the gentle night\u2019s breeze blows the sparks from the burning branches and boughs into dead and dying remains of the tree\u2019s neighbors. All it takes to set the next tree on fire, and the next, and the next is nothing less than a tiny spark. By the time the crew decides to abandon the crippled water trailer, that is now far beyond its capacity to do any good even if it was to defy the laws of basic mechanics and start working, the fire had indeed evolved into the embryo of an inferno. The horse is the first intelligent being to fully ascertain the threat, and it breaks loose from the grip of its rider who is trying to hold it back with its rope halter. The horse runs at full gallop down the dirt road.\u00a0 A burley cameraman ceases his efforts to pull the rip chord of the water pump\u2019s motor to watch the horse sprint past.\r\n\r\n\u201cMaybe we better get out of here,\u201d Cynthia McRae, the actress they had cast to play the role of Bonnie Abzugg, shouts in between choking coughs from inhaling smoke in her heavy Brooklyn accent at the group of men that had to this point seemed hellbent on conquering the stubborn pump motor or die trying. She and the make-up girls and one of the set designers get in one of the production SUVs and leave. At this point the remaining crew gives up on the pump and makes a frenzied run for the vehicles. The vehicles are not parked for quick retreat. Their environmental impact mitigation plan required they park along the shoulder of the dirt road, and the set pieces were in the way of any area wide enough to turn around.\r\n\r\nThe row of SUVs is parked bumper to bumper. McConaughey, Redford, and the rest of the big money talent get in the vehicle that is furthest down the road. Their vehicle has at least two unused seatbelts, and this combined with the fact that four of the vehicles occupants had flown in by helicopter, means that there will be a shortage of seats in the remaining vehicles. The SUV full of the elites makes an effort to do a U-turn on the narrow dirt road, and driver of the second vehicle, who also happens to be the horseless horseman and who also happens to have an extensive background in stunt driving, watches in his rearview mirror as the first SUV proceeds through the steps of the eighteen point turn that it must make in order to turn around.\r\n\r\nJust as the the first SUV angles its nose far enough to be able to proceed down the road, the remaining crew realizes there aren\u2019t enough seats in the remaining vehicles. Six men watch the red tail lights disappear in the smoke that is now starting to fill the road below. The fire is spreading mostly uphill, but the explosiveness of the dying forest is enabling the spread in all directions. The crew that didn\u2019t make it into a vehicle knock on the window of the second car. The stunt driver locks the doors, turns on the engine and doesn\u2019t bother to turn around. He just drives down in reverse. The crew with no ride and those in the third and final vehicle, which is Hayduke\u2019s Jeep, watch the headlights disappear.\r\n\r\n\u201cCan you guys fit a few more?\u201d One of the men standing in the road asks.\r\n\r\n\u201cMaybe a few,\u201d the man at the wheel of the Jeep replies. \u201cBut not all\u2026\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cBut what if we stand and hold onto the roll bar?"\r\n\r\n\u201cWe can try it.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe remaining group piles into the Jeep, and they manage to all fit. One man in the driver seat, two in the passenger seat, five stand on the back seat and hang onto the roll bar, and the two remaining men remove the fuel cans that sit on platforms attached to the back of the Jeep and stand on the platforms and hang onto the spare tire. The Jeep has the best turn radius of all the vehicles, and it is able to complete a U-turn after only a five-point turn. The driver then shifts the Jeep into a low gear and idles the overloaded Jeep down the dirt road. The fire has now spread along both sides of the road, and the two men clinging to the spare tire watch the set burn behind them. The Bulldozer, the trailers, the light fixtures, the camera equipment. All of it begins to burn and melt and crack and smolder in the intense heat.\r\n\r\nAfter a few hundred yards on the dirt road, the road cuts across a steep incline. On the driver\u2019s side, the road runs along a cliff edge that drops suddenly to a river below, and on the passenger side, ten to fifteen feet of graded gravel meets the forest above.\u00a0 The road narrows to a point that two vehicles would have a hard time passing each other along this narrow stretch. This is the point where a burning tree had fallen across the road.\r\n\r\n\u201cDoes the winch on the front of this thing work?\u201d The man driving asks as he stops the Jeep in front of the burning log.\r\n\r\n\u201cI believe so,\u201d the set technician over vehicles replies as he exits the Jeep and powers on the winch. They extend enough of the winch cable to choke it around the fallen tree.\u00a0 The Jeep driver then begins to retract the winch to hopefully pull the tree out of the way.\u00a0 Just as the tree begins to give, the others who remain in the vehicle watch the fire jump the road down below them where the road switches back, and it starts closing in the space below them that had been safe so far. Where the road had been serving as a fire break, the thin clearing created by the road below was now obscured by smoke and flame.\u00a0 A night breeze had been picking up, and the fire is now spreading at a breakneck speed.\u00a0 Ahead of the fire line, several sets of headlights flee down the road toward the safety of the valley below.\r\n\r\n\u201cEven if we get this out of the way, we\u2019re not making it down this road,\u201d the Jeep driver concludes as he chokes on the smoke that is engulfing them. \u201cWe need to try something else.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe exits the Jeep and whispers something to the set technician. The two men nod in agreement. They loosen the winch, and the set technician clambers up the gravel incline towards a larger Ponderosa pine that seems to be growing right out of a rock. He loops the winch cable around the tree\u2019s trunk and fastens the hook to the wire and cinches it tight.\u00a0 Below, the driver reels in the slack. The driver then gets back into the Jeep and reverses it to the edge of the cliff as the set technician runs cable out of the winch.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat the hell are you doing?\u201d One passenger shouts in between choking fits from the smoke.\r\n\r\n\u201cHang on!\u201d The driver yells as the Jeep backs off the cliff. After the Jeep is completely hanging off the side of the cliff by the cable, the set technician returns to the tree to make sure it looks like it will hold. Once he is satisfied, he returns to the edge of the cliff and looks down at the headlights that are shining up at him with the fire consuming the trees on the other side of the river below them. By this point the heat on the road is almost unbearable, and the technician climbs down the cliff to the Jeep and he stands on the grill that rises above the winch and hangs onto the winch cable.\u00a0 The driver takes control of the winch and lowers the Jeep until it is several yards below the road and away from the heat. The passengers who aren\u2019t fastened into seats with seat belts hold onto the roll bar for dear life. It is in this position that this group of those who were left behind survive what is later named the Hollywood Fire by the Forest Service.