Firefighter Michael McGinnis is no stranger to intense situations. Veteran of New York's Ladder 21 Company as a search and rescue man, he has seen his share of burning infernos, high-rise saves, and intense emergency situations. Despite McGinnis' years on the job, nothing can prepare him for getting tangled in his brother's mistakes as a drug addict and gambler, especially when a bloodthirsty bookie gets involved.
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While visiting his brother in Texas, Michael McGinnis is struck by the devastation wrought by the drought and wildfires. Learning the fire departments are staffed mostly by volunteers, he feels compelled to stay and help. Having little experience with this type of firefighting, Michael is forced to learn the basics quickly, making him vulnerable to the deteriorating situations in the largest and most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Eva is forced to go back home to New York with the constant worry of his safety on her mind.
Michael McGinnis has finally escaped the clutches of alcohol. And with his brother Casey doing well in rehab, for the first time in his life, he dares to hope that what only seemed like a fantasy a year ago - a life with Eva as his wife, a child or two, and a job he was born to do - will become a reality. But Viper reaches out, even from prison, and sets out to shatter Michael's dreams. With help from outside sources, he frames Michael for a string of arson cases.