Yes, there was fire in Petaluma, California on this night. Feburary 15, 1987. Just my friends and I doing what we do. This version of "Fire On The Mountain" was played with amazing musicians including Baba Olatunji, Carlos Santana, Hamza el-Din, Bobby Vega, Sikiru Adepoju, and others.
""Fire" was penned at my ranch with lyricist Robert Hunter, who describes the moment this way: ""Fire On The Mountain' was written in heated inspiration as the surrounding hills blazed and the fire approached the recording studio where we were working…"
I recorded a proto-rap version of "Fire" in 1974. You can check it out here:
It also appeared as "Happiness is Drumming" on my 1976 studio album, Diga as an instrumental.
We first played "Fire" as the Grateful Dead on March 18, 1977 at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco – closing the first set following its soon to be eternal partner, "Scarlet Begonias."
This combination of tunes, which frequently enclosed some wonderful jamming, came to be known as "Scarlet Fire."
There were a handful of occasions where "Fire" appeared without "Scarlet," but very rarely.