Thongchai Thailand

WORST WILDFIRES IN HISTORY

Posted on: June 30, 2021

THIS POST IS A LIST OF SIGNIFICANT WILDFIRES OF THE PAST

THE PESHTIGO FIRE

Map of fire

On October 8, 1871, the most devastating forest fire in American history swept through northeast Wisconsin, claiming 1200 lives. The Area Research Center, the state historical society’s depository for records for 11 counties in Northeast Wisconsin, has papers and manuscripts that document the Peshtigo Fire. The story of the Peshtigo Fire is that railroad workers clearing land for tracks started a brush fire which, somehow, became an inferno. It had been an unusually dry summer, and the fire moved fast. The sudden, convulsive speed of the flames consumed available oxygen. Some trying to flee burst into flames. It scorched 1.2 million acres, although it skipped over the waters of Green Bay to burn parts of Door and Kewaunee counties. The damage estimate was at $169 million. The fire also burned 16 other towns, but the damage in Peshtigo was the worst. The city of Peshtigo was gone in an hour. In Peshtigo alone, 800 lives were lost. What most researchers find so fascinating is the effect of the Peshtigo Fire on people’s lives. Some people thought it was the end of the world. The fire produced countless stories of heroics and tragedy now stored in the Peshtigo Fire Museum in downtown Peshtigo. There’s the story of a man carrying a woman to safety he thought was his wife but it wasn’t. The Peshtigo River was the only haven from the fire, and one 13 year-old said she held onto the horn of a cow all night in the river to survive. The Peshtigo Fire Museum, located in a former church building, is located at the corner of Oconto Street and Ellis Avenue in Peshtigo.

WILDFIRE#2 THE GREAT MICHIGAN FIRE



It was Sunday, October 8, that fires near Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and Chicago came to life. No one is certain how they started. The Chicago fire’s popular lore tells that a cow, owned by Mrs. O’Leary, purportedly knocked over a lantern in her barn that set off the blaze. While in Wisconsin, a sudden fire mysteriously starts outside of Peshtigo. A few hours later, across Lake Michigan, fires erupt in Holland and Manistee. Later in the day, the fire rips across Michigan only to be stopped by Lake Huron’s shores north of Port Huron at the lake’s southern end. Historians and meteorologists point to a cyclone like a system of winds parked over the eastern plains in early October that fanned and fueled the fires.

1871 Chicago Fire Was Famous But The Peshtigo Fire Was Horrific

1871 Great Fire
Escaping the Chicago Fire

The fire in Chicago burns about three square miles of the city, consuming more than 17,000 buildings and 300 lives.

The fire reached Peshtigo, Wisconsin Sunday evening, October 8th. Residents flee. Some survivors jumped into rivers to escape the flames and witness firestorms or “tornadoes of fire,” which devastated enormous areas. Some who went into the Peshtigo River during the fire boiled alive in the 2000 degree firestorm.

Peshtigo September 1871
Peshtigo September 1871 – Library of Congress

By the time the fire ended, it had consumed 1.5 million acres and an estimated 1,200-2,400 lives, including approximately 800 in Peshtigo. Only one building in Peshtigo survived the fire. Pleas for assistance from the area go unheeded as there was no telegraph service. The Peshtigo fire goes down in history as the worst fire disaster in the US of all time.

When the Midwest Burned - The Great Fires of 1871

Images of Japanese Culture | map of Japan | Japan map, Japan tourism, Japan  tourist

THE TOKYO-YOKOHAMA FIRE OF 1923 CAUSED BY EARTHQUAKES. 143,000 FATALITIES

THE TOKYO FIRE OF 1857 CAUSED BY EARTHQUAKES, 107,000 FATALITIES

Looking Back on the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake, Which Devastated Tokyo and  Yokohama | Nippon.com

THE MIRAMICHI FIRE OF 1825, 300,000 ACRES {CANADA}

Miramichi Fire • Earth.comMiramichi Fire imaging fire

THE GREAT OREGON FIRE OF 1845: 1.5 MILLION ACRES

A Place in the History of Great Fires - The Night Portland Burned

THE OREGON FIRE OF 1853, 180,000 ACRES

Dangerous conditions complicate wildfire fight in western US | News |  tribdem.com

THE SILVERTON FIRE OF 1865. 1 MILLION ACRES

1865 in the United States - Wikiwand
1865 in the United States - Wikiwand

THE HINCKLEY FIRE OF 1894, 160,000 ACRES

125 years ago, the Great Hinckley Fire became one of Minnesota's worst  natural disasters | MPR News

THE YACOLT FIRE OF 1902, 1 MILLION ACRES

THE BIG BURN OF 1910: WASHINGTON, MONTANA, IDAHO, 3 MILLION ACRES

The Big Burn' of 1910 transformed wildland firefighting. Will 2020 do the  same?

THE CLOQUET FIRE OF 1918 IN MINNESOTA: 1.2 MILLION ACRES

THE TILLAMOOK BURN OF 1933/1951: 355,000 ACRES

THE GREAT FIRES OF 1947: 200,000 ACRES IN MAINE

LINK TO HIGH COUNTRY NEWS: https://www.hcn.org/issues/251/13986

EXTRACT

Investigating the … arid lands, I passed through South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho by train. Among the valleys, with mountains on every side, during all that trip a mountain was never seen. This was because the fires in the mountains created such a smoke that the whole country was enveloped by it … ” This squinty-eyed report came from Major John Wesley Powell back in 1889. The fires that year were so widespread and fierce, they greatly impressed Powell, who had already faced the rigors of Civil War combat and Grand Canyon rapids. But pioneer-era fires like those Powell saw are seldom mentioned today amid all the sensational stories about the recent wildfires, which are said to be unnaturally large. That’s probably because they put the lie to the “unnaturally” part. “Fire in an ordinary year passes over the ground and burns the leaves and cones, etc., only,” Powell, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey at that time, reported to Congress. “But there come critical years … of great drought … and the fire starts and sweeps everything away.” The 1889 fires burned even more land than the famous 3-million-acre Big Blowup of 1910. Other huge fire years in the Northern Rockies and Northwest include 1869, 1846, 1823, 1802, 1784, 1778 and 1756, says a leading fire ecologist, Steve Arno. In the Central Rockies and Southwest, huge fire years include 1879, 1851, 1847, 1785, and 1748. In fact, fire ecologists say that far more land burned each year during the 1800s and earlier, than in recent years. In the preindustrial era, from 1500 to 1800, an average of 145 million acres burned every year nationwide — about 10 times more than the nation’s recent annual burns. In the West, Arno estimates that 18 to 25 million acres burned each year, as recently as the 1800s. Lightning strikes ignited some fires, while others were started by accident. Indians and settlers set many fires deliberately, to drive game, make room for their homes, stimulate their crops, or fight enemy tribes. Many of the burns were in grass or sagebrush. The total burned acreage dropped after the federal government launched the war on wildfires, and after much of the burnable land was converted to farms and settlements. There is disagreement about the impacts and severity of the fires in the old days, but there is “strong consensus,” Arno says, that smoky skies were more of a fact of life back then — and that we’re heading that direction again

THE BOTTOM LINE

SHIT HAPPENS.

WE ARE NOT IN HEAVEN YET.

THE KNEEJERK ATTRIBUTION OF THE SHIT THAT HAPPENS TO YOUR WORRY OF CHOICE IS NOT UNBIASED AND OBJECTIVE SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY. IT IS SUPERSTITION. HUMANS ARE SUPERSTITIOUS CREATURES.

RELATED POST ON SUPERSTITION: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

THE EVERYDAY MAGIC OF SUPERSTITION: LINK: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-29/november-2016/everyday-magic-superstition

EXTRACT:

There is something beguiling, folkloric and fantastical about our supersitious beliefs. They seem to whisper of pagan rites in ‘Merrye Olde Englande’, to speak of a time we rarely hear about in everyday, metropolitan Britain. Yet they steadfastly remain in our culture. English poet John Clare saw superstition as a long-standing tradition, left behind by ancient civilisations. In 1825 he wrote that these beliefs were ‘as old as England’, and that despite being difficult to trace historically, superstitions remain ‘as common to every memory as the seasons, and as familiar to children even as the rain and spring flowers’. He continued his sentimental appraisal thus: Superstition lives longer than books; it is engrafted on the human mind till it becomes a part of its existence; and is carried from generation to generation on the stream of eternity, with the proudest of fames, untroubled with the insect encroachments of oblivion which books are infested with.

RELATED POST ON SUPERSTITION: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

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  • David: thank you very much for that information.......something I was unaware of....very interesting.....
  • Ruben Leon: 1st you write your opinion and then you search for other opinions to support your opinion and call your opinion science. I'm as sure that the orbit
  • Ruben Leon: People who believe CO2 is causing climate change are either ignorant of basic science or they don't believe in gravity. CO2 is 10% heavier than Cal
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