The fire that was to change so many lives started with a single shaft of lightning. It struck on a still and moonless night and cocooned for a while in the heart of an ancient pine. The woman camped nearby with her group of troubled teenagers slept on, hearing nothing. But one among them would be lost forever. For soon the pupa of fire would hatch and engulf the entire mountain. Into this inferno will come the Smoke Jumper. His name is Connor Ford, and he braves the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have.