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National Park Service ranger Eric Linenger has been asked to oversee a "prescribed burn" of 1,000 acres of Rocky Mountain National Park. The fire threatens important bird habitat, and his friends at Elk Park Ornithological Chapter (EPOCH, the name of the birdwatchers’ club) are strongly opposed. But it's Eric's job. Once lit, the flames quickly spread beyond the intended acreage—destroying a real estate development before finally being extinguished and putting Eric in the crosshairs. When the body of Eric's boss, Wayne Devlin, is found near the origin of the blaze, it appears as if Eric deliberately intended the fire to rage out of control. Determined to find out what went wrong, Eric investigates. He discovers a myriad of people had reasons for ensuring the burn went all to blazes—including some of his friends. Then, what appears to be a tragic accident is revealed to be murder, it becomes clear to the survivors that sometimes the answers come too close to home.