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

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Smoke in the Treasure Valley is an indicator that the 2017 Idaho fire season, is well underway. There are still numerous fires burning throughout Idaho and the North West right now, but most are in remote rugged mountain areas. I didn’t realize the biggest fire in American history happened right here in Idaho this week 107 years ago.

Google maps, Current Idaho Fire Map
Credit: Google maps, Current Idaho Fire Map

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

 

 

 

The $10 million in 1910 would be the same as hundreds of millions of dollars today.

According to a story from onlyinyourstate.com, eighty six people lost their lives – a tragic yet surprising number that it wasn’t higher given the fire burned an area the size of Connecticut in just 36 hours. The fire completely destroyed 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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