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Wallace in Shoshone County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

“The Big Blowup”

In two terrifying days in August 1910,

 

—nearly the whole of the Bitterroot Mountain Range was consumed in a fiery holocaust —

 
"The Big Blowup" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2013
1. "The Big Blowup" Marker
Inscription.
Walls of flame pushed by hurricane-force winds raced through the region, trapping fire crews, destroying mines, homesteads, and igniting towns. Much of the town of Wallace, Idaho was left in ashes.

In the end, over 1,700 fires ravaged three million acres throughout the western U.S. and killed at least eighty-five people in the summer of 1910. August 20th and 21st were the two most grueling and deadly days of that searing hell.

Amidst the political haggling over the newly formed U.S. Forest Service, not only its mission, but is very existence was in question. With abnormally low amounts of precipitation and soaring, high temperatures, disaster was inevitable. The heroic efforts of the Forest Service’s overwhelmed rangers, who lost 78 firefighters in the firestorm, touched the hearts of the public and prompted legislative action.

The Great Fire of that summer 1910, led to significant changes in the nation’s forest fire fighting policy and continues to influence forest management to this day.
 
Erected 2010.
 
Location. 47° 28.641′ N, 115° 56.016′ W. Marker is in Wallace, Idaho, in Shoshone County. Marker is at the intersection of River Street and Front Street, on the left
Marker detail: Wallace's East Side was laid waste by the flames image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2013
2. Marker detail: Wallace's East Side was laid waste by the flames
when traveling north on River Street. Touch for map. Marker is located near the Wallace Chamber of Commerce parking lot entrance, on the left side as you enter the parking lot. Marker is adjacent to Wallace's 1910 Firefighters Memorial - a large, tall brick monument. Marker is at or near this postal address: The Harry F. Magnuson Way, Wallace ID 83873, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named "The Big Blowup" (here, next to this marker); Wallace (within shouting distance of this marker); The Great Fire of 1910 (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Pulaski Tunnel Trail (approx. 1.3 miles away); Pulaski's Trail (approx. 1.3 miles away); "Big Ed" Pulaski (approx. 1.3 miles away); Lead-Silver Mines (approx. 9.3 miles away); Willow Creek Slide (approx. 9.3 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. The Big Burn: Idaho and Montana, August 1910.
The men who heroically fought the wildfire ripping through 3 million acres of Idaho and Montana, late in August 1910, were up against a formidable enemy. "The forests staggered, rocked, exploded and then shriveled under the holocaust," wrote local historian Betty Goodwin Spencer. "Great red balls of
Marker detail: Coeur d'Alene Hardware Warehouse ruins image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2013
3. Marker detail: Coeur d'Alene Hardware Warehouse ruins
fire rolled up the mountainsides. Crown fires, from 1 to 10 miles wide, streaked with yellow and purple and scarlet, raced through treetops 150 feet from the ground." (Submitted on November 21, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The West is Burning Up! The 1910 Fire:.
It was the largest forest fire in American history. Maybe even the largest forest fire ever. No one knows for sure, but even now, it is hard to put into words what it did. For two terrifying days and night's - August 20 and 21, 1910 - the fire raged across three million acres of virgin timberland in northern Idaho and western Montana. Many thought the world would end, and for 86, it did. Most of what was destroyed fell to hurricane-force winds that turned the fire into a blowtorch. (Submitted on November 21, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. The Great Fire of 1910.
The area burned included parts of the Bitterroot, Cabinet, Clearwater, Coeur d'Alene, Flathead, Kaniksu, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, Lolo, and St. Joe National Forests. The firestorm burned over two days, August 20–21, and killed 87 people, mostly firefighters. It is believed to be the largest, although not the deadliest, forest fire in U.S. history. The outcome was to highlight firefighters as public heroes while raising public awareness surrounding national nature conservation.
1910 Firefighters Memorial - adjacent to this marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2013
4. 1910 Firefighters Memorial - adjacent to this marker

This site is dedicated to the memory of all firefighters who lost their lives fighting the Great Fires of 1910. Their heroic efforts while enduring some of the most severe fire behavior in our nation's history will never be forgotten. Dedicated August 21, 2010
The extensive burned area was approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. (Submitted on November 21, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Disasters
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 21, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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