Near Wallace in Shoshone County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
This two-mile trail
will take you to The Pulaski Tunnel. There, during two days in August 1910, Ranger “Big Ed” Pulaski, in the midst of a raging inferno, saved the lives of all but 6 of his 45-man crew.
The firestorm that Pulaski and his crew survived was the climax, “The Big Blowup,” to the summer-long fight against hundreds of fires burning in Idaho and Montana.
Pulaski and his crew could not have realized that their story and the story of the 1910 fires would change the way the public viewed forest first and the way public agencies responded to them.
“During the summer of 1910 forest fires were everywhere in the Coeur dí Alene Mountains of northern Idaho. For weeks there had been no rain and the woods were drier than I had ever seen them. The intense heat of the sun, combined with strong winds which sprang up during the day, served to scatter the fires in all directions. Crews of several hundred mem were working twenty-four hours a day throughout the mountains, endeavoring to hold back the fires”
Edward C. Pulaski 1923
Fire has a History Here
“Repeated surface fires leave a sequence of overlapping scars which extend into the annual ring wood tissues and can be dated to the calendar year.”
Erected by U.S. Forest Service, Department of the Interior.
Location. 47° 27.546′ N, 115° 56.221′ W. Marker is near Wallace, Idaho, in Shoshone County. Marker can be reached from Forest Road 456, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Pulaski Trail, Pulaski Historic Site, Idaho Panhandle National Forest, about a mile south of Wallace on Placer Creek Road/NF-456. Marker is in this post office area: Wallace ID 83873, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Big Ed" Pulaski (a few steps from this marker); The Pulaski Tunnel Trail (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Great Fire of 1910 (about 600 feet away); Historic Wallace South Hill Stairs (approx. one mile away); Rossi Insurance Building (approx. 1.1 miles away); Wallace World War Memorial (approx. 1.2 miles away); Wallace (approx. 1.3 miles away); "The Big Blowup" (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wallace.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Big Blowup of 1910.
After record low precipitation in April and May 1910, severe lightning storms in June ignited numerous fires in the mountainous forest region between Montana and Idaho. Throughout July the fledgling U.S. Forest Service, created by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, employed roughly 4,000 firefighters to combat the fires. With the help of military reinforcements, the Forest Service seemed to have the situation under control, but on August 20 a dry cold front brought strong winds into the region. Winds of up to 70 miles (110 km) per hour whipped the flames into a frenzy as individual blazes united to form a massive conflagration. Balls of fire shot into the air, and firebrands fell as far as 50 miles (80 km) away. The fire spread so quickly that many firefighters were forced to seek shelter in creeks and mine shafts. (Submitted on November 13, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Big Blowup - The Great Fires shaped a century of fire policy.
It may be the most obscure site on the National Register of Historic Places. Rockfall and wild growth clog the entry. The West Fork of Placer Creek splashes a few feet below. It is not an easy place to find. It has the feel of some mythical grotto, a sepulchre, an oracle, the source of a sacred spring like Lourdes. The Nicholson mine shaft is, in truth, all these, for here, on the 20th of August 1910, flames burned through conifer stands like prairie grass and came over the ridges, as one survivor recalled, with the sound of a thousand trains rushing over a thousand steel trestles. One ranger said simply, "The mountains roared." (Submitted on November 13, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Disasters •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 13, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 65 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 13, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.