National Geographic : 1912 Jul
SLASH LEFT AFTER LOGGING: THE GREATEST MENACE FROM FIRE In all timber sales on the national forests this debris is destroyed related that even great quantities of fish in the river were killed by the heat of the fire. Another historic fire was that which occurred in Wisconsin in the fall of 1871. A single fire swept over an area of more than 2,ooo square miles. It de stroyed the town of Peshtigo, and be tween 1,200 and 1,500 persons perished. That same year the damage by fire else where in the country was enormous. Still another fire, which is still remem bered by many persons, was that which destroyed the town of Hinckley, Minne sota, in the fall of 1894. As in other cases of great fires, there was a season of exceptional drought. The woods be came very dry, especially on those areas which had been recently cut over by the lumbermen, where a great mass of tops and other debris was left upon the ground. Many fires were constantly starting during that fall, but there was no effective effort to extinguish them. Forest fires were so common that there was no special fear of possible danger until it was too late to meet the situa tion. As often happens when there are many fires burning under these conditions and a high wind springs up, the different small fires were suddenly merged to gether, and a great crown fire resulted which swept over the town of Hinckley and six other towns, entirely destroying them, killing 500 persons, and making over 2,000 more entirely destitute. The estimated loss in property by this fire was more than $25,000,000. THE GREAT CATASTROPHE OF 1910 The most recent great disaster from forest fires occurred in the Pacific Northwest in 1910. That year was the driest ever known in the West, particu larly in northern Idaho and northwest ern Montana. Practically no rain fell from early spring until October. The.