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Did You Know Americas Largest Wild Fire Happened 107 Years Ago in Idaho?

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The 2017 Idaho fire season, so far has been relatively mild compared to past years. There are numerous fires burning throughout Idaho right now, but most are in remote rugged mountain areas. I didn’t realize the biggest fire in American history happened here in Idaho…one hundred and seven years ago this month.

Google maps, Current Idaho Fire Map
Google maps, Current Idaho Fire Map

The fire burned over 3 million acres and caused an estimated 10 million dollars in damage.

 

 

 

…And that was 10 million in 1910 dollars….today, that estimate would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to a story from onlyinyourstate.com, eighty six people lost their lives…which is a lot…but pretty amazing that it wasn’t even more when you hear eye witness accounts of just how big and fast burning this fire was. The fire burned an area the size of Connecticut in just 36 hours, completely destroying several towns in Idaho and Montana.

It’s absolutely amazing to me that this fire, considered the largest in US history, burning over 3 million acres only burned for 2 days. Can you imagine how much timber, lives and towns would have been lost, had there not been a cold front come through bringing large amounts of rain and cool temperatures that doused the fire and stopped it from spreading even more.

This fire also set up how we fight and manage fires to this day.

 

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