18 August 2010

1910 Fire: 100 Year Anniversary

Source: U.S. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
Wallace, Idaho after the fire.

On August 20th and 21st of 1910, a century ago, the Great Fire of 1910 devastated the Inland Northwest, including North Idaho and Western Montana. More than one million acres of forest were burned. 86 people were known to have lost their lives due to the fire. Whole towns were burned to the ground before it was over, including Wallace, ID. The Great Fire was feed by smaller fires that actually began as early as May across the Bitterroot Mountains and the Cour d'Alene Forest. On the afternoon of August 20th, near Elk City, ID a great gust of wind helped to spur Mother Nature into an inferno feed by dry pine needles, leaves, brush and grass as the result of a very dry spring and summer. There are so many stories and photos to share on this centennial event.

I began putting this together earlier in the week and didn't have time to finish before my dear friend Mariam, writer of AnceStories, posted a great post:The Great Fire of 1910 Centennial Events and Articles. So I guess I better get busy and finish this, thanks for the motivation. :-)

The West Is Burning UP! An endless array of stories and photos of the 1910 Fire. There is also another link at the bottom of this article asking a very important question: Could the 1910 Fire Happen Again? It's something to think about. The answer is yes, but the likelihood is much slimmer due to the advancement in equipment and our forest practices. Also read stories from smoke jumpers.

Stories of survival: Families and the 1910 fire. A herring story given by the last known survivor of the fire. Lilly Cunningham was 3 years old at the time of the fire. She talks about how her family lost their homestead on Little Beaver Creek in Thompson, MT. But she also recalls how her father and brother ran to the aid of others neighbors to help them save the homes.

Wallace, Idaho after the 1910 Fire: Wallace is a quaint little mining town in Shoshone County, Idaho. It's known for the Sierra Silver mines. I have visited many times, and I love the little town. In 1910 it was nearly destroyed by the fire. Then in 1997 it was destroyed again on screen for the making of the movie "Dante's Peak." Thank goodness that was only in the movie. I'd hate to see this little town ever destroyed again. I also found out through the grape vine that Wallace is also having an event to remember that day.

When the Mountains Roared. More great photos and stories of the Wallace, ID area. That photo of the rail road after the fire is from this website.

Centennial Commemoration of the 1910 Fire: The Idaho Fire Chiefs are holds a Commemoration to honor the fallen of the 1910 fire.

Forest fire photos - near Scalplock Lookout: great photos of the devastation left by the 1910 Fire in Glacier National Park.

Sandpoint and Sagle, ID in the 1910 Fire: Many accounts leading up to the fire and of the fire, as well as some photos of damage that can still be seen today, 100 years after the fact.

1 comment:

Joan said...

The 1910 Wallace fire has always been such huge story in my mind -- terrible losses and wondrous acts of courage.