Volunteers beat back flames caused by a careless camper near Madison, Tennessee, during the drought of 1925. Their use of branches and burlap sacks to fight the fireespecially when water was scarceisnt so strange, according to John Ragsdale, a Nashville fire district chief. Ive used brooms too, he says. You can just sweep that kind of fire out sometimes. And if the bristles burn? You get yourself a new broom, he shrugs. Brush fires are less common in the region these days. Now that Madison has been absorbed into suburban Nashville, theres not much brush left.
This photo has never before been published in the magazine.