Peshtigo - Wooded Areas Burned

Peshtigo - Wooded Areas Burned American History Disasters Social Studies STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Nineteenth Century Life Geography

On the 8th of October, 1871, Peshtigo was a mill town in Wisconsin.  Forests of red and white pine trees marked the landscape, but those trees were being cut-down to make room for homes, roads and farms.

A drought had impacted the Midwest - including the Peshtigo area - during late summer and early fall that year.  Dried-out debris from the cut-down pine trees - called "red slash" - would fuel a fire if one got started.

At about the time Chicago's great fire began, a fire started at Peshtigo.  At the same time, a cold front was moving into the area, causing extremely high winds. Conditions were ripe for a potential disaster.

As the Peshtigo fire burned, consuming trees and red slash, the fire's heat rose.  Cold air rushed-in to take the place of the hot air, thereby fanning the flames and causing the fire to spread. 

With more flames came more rising hot air, making room for more cold air to swoop in.  The center of Peshtigo turned-into a firestorm of horrific proportions. 


Media Credits

Image of Peshtigo burning, online courtesy Peshtigo Fire Museum.


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"Peshtigo - Wooded Areas Burned" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Sep 23, 2018.
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