Book Burning Ignites Devastating Florida Fire

A tragic reminder that you should never burn books

History teaches us that nothing good comes from burning books. That’s true even if you are doing it for non-ideological reasons. Last week, an unidentified Florida man threw historical caution and basic common sense to the wind, and started an ill-advised paperback bonfire in his yard. Well, that wind picked up the sparks, and the result was a devastating 400 acre wildfire that has destroyed 10 homes and led to the evacuation of 150 residents.

In a statement obtained by UPI on Wednesday, Annaleasa Winter of the Florida Fire Service said, “It was an illegal burn. It was paper. It got away from him.” Initially firefighters were able to contain the fire to a five acre radius, but the lethal combination of dry conditions and gusty winds is proving to be a significant challenge for the 200 personnel from five local agencies who are tirelessly trying to keep it from spreading more than it already has. As it stands now, the fire is about one-half mile wide and 2 miles long. Nassau County Emergency Management Director Billy Estep describes the origins of the fire as accidental, but the man who started the book burn will still have to pay for the man power and equipment that has been allocated to stopping the fire.

James Baldwin’s Black Queer Legacy

Let this tragedy serve as an unfortunate reminder that there are dozens of effective ways to get rid of unwanted books that don’t involve a match and kerosene: donate, sell, recycle, or get really creative and hollow them out and repurpose your hardbacks as the perfect hiding spot for your deepest secrets and/or jewelry. The ideas on Pinterest are endless.

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