1910 Fires Display

The University of Idaho Library is commemorating the centennial of the Big Burn by displaying many of its resources related to the 1910 Forest Fires. On August 20, 1910, a powerful, tumbling “Palouser” wind whipped through the drought-stricken forests of Idaho, Montana, and Washington creating an inferno now known as the Big Burn. The fires killed nearly 90 people, destroyed almost three million acres of timber, and set Forest Service fire-fighting policy for the next six decades.

Among the resources now on display in cases in the Library’s first floor hallway and on the second floor landing are histories of the fires, such as Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that saved America; photographs of the aftermath of the fire in Wallace, Idaho from the Library’s Barnard-Stockbridge Historic Photograph Collection; excerpts from oral histories of individuals who experienced the fires first-hand; and a Pulaski, the fire-fighting tool designed by one of the heroes of the fire, forest ranger Edward C. Pulaski.

Click here for a bibliography of the Library resources related to the 1910 fires.


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