Bob Sallee doesn't much like remembering that hot, chaotic, tragic August day in 1949, but he realizes he's the only one who can. At 75, Sallee is the last remaining survivor of the Mann Gulch fire in Montana, a conflagration that consumed the lives of 15 smokejumpers and a fire guard, a controversial event memorialized in Norman Maclean's 1992 book Young Men and Fire.
"I don't like to (talk about it)," says Sallee. "But everyone says I'm part of history. So I guess I am. I guess this is kind of my job."