The West is Burning Up!
WAS THE 1910 FIRE THE LARGEST?
Evergreen Magazine, Winter Edition 1994-1995
Parts from The Big Blowup
No one can say for certain that the 1910 fire was the largest forest fire ever, but if size alone is the measure, it was indeed the largest forest fire in U.S. history. Other U.S. fires - including some listed below - were more deadly, but none moved as swiftly or as savagely over such a vast uncharted expanse as did the 1910 fire.
1825 - The Miramichi fire in Maine and New Brunswick; three million acres burned; 160 people killed.
1846 - The Yaquina fire in Oregon; 450,000 acres burned.
1853 - The Nestucca fire in Oregon; 320,000 acres burned.
1865 - The Silverton fire in Oregon, one million acres burned.
1868 - The Coos fire in Oregon; 300,000 acres burned.
1871 - The Peshtigo fire in Wisconsin; the most deadly in U.S. history; 1,500 killed; 1.2 million acres burned.
1876 - The Bighorn fire in Wyoming; 500,000 acres burned.
Parts of this chronology are taken from The Big Blowup
1881 -A Michigan forest fire destroyed a million acres of timber and killed 138 people.
1894 - The Hinckley fire in Minnesota; 160,000 acres burned; twelve towns wiped out; 418 lives lost.
1903 - The Adirondack fire in New York; 450,000 acres burned.
1910 - The great fire of 1910, Idaho and Montana; more than three million acres burned; 86 lives lost.
1918 - The Cloquet fire in Minnesota. Cloquet, a thriving sawmill town of 12,000 was gutted; timber land and property losses estimated at $30 million; 400 perished.
1932 - The Matilija Canyon fire in California's Santa Barbara National Forest; 256 square miles burned; 2,500 fire?fighters on the lines; no lives lost
1933 - The first of four Tillamook burns, in the Oregon coast range; subsequent fires burned in 1939, 1945 and 1951. In all, 355,000 acres of some of the finest timber in America were destroyed.
1947 - Texas; in September and October, 900 man?caused fires burned 55,000 acres of timber in eastern Texas; losses exceeded $ 1 million.
1947 - Maine; series of disastrous fires raged for ten days; 16 died; nearly 10,000 required first aid; 175,000 acres burned; Red Cross spent $2.4 million on disaster relief.
1988 - Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Wyoming; a fire that was being allowed to burn broke out of the park. In all, more than one million acres of national park, national forest and private forest land were burned.