10 Most Devastating Fires and Explosions in U.S. History

Image From Minnesota Historical Society Via Wikicommons

9. The Great Hinckley Fire

In September 1894, in the pine forests of Minnesota, there had already been a two-month-long drought, so the chances of a wildfire were extremely high. And while forest fires were not a new phenomenon to the lumberjacks who worked the pine forests of Pine County, the technique they used when harvesting lumber would spell disaster.

In those days, instead of felling the tree, taking it away to be stripped of its branches before being sawn, the lumberjacks strip the tree in place. So, when the fire first broke out, the amount of ready-made fuel lying on the forest floor caused it to spread far and wide. Experts estimate that the fire consumed between 200,000 and 250,000 acres. The official death toll was 418, but many believe the number was likely 476, if not higher.

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