Heckletooth III is a piece of mountain range in Oregon where a forest fire is burning and this is about some hombres duros of the Forest Service. Mr. Shetzline served time there; he also was a truck driver and a short-order cook which accounts for some of the more visceral verballistics. Mobilized to keep Heckletooth under 24 hour observation, the men are somber types, whether miscreants or misfits: like Replogle whose wife died five years before and who has been hunting (poaching) bull elk; or Rawleigh with half a face (Bell's palsy); or Gannt, a young defector; etc., etc. The story, actually minimal, stops with the end of the fire when the first snow falls and while it snags your attention here and there, it does not retain it all the way. Much of it is blunted by the featherbedding of rude, crude rhetoric.