The Washington Times-Herald

Community

March 11, 2014

A pair of fires to remember

(Continued)

Super-heated air from the fire was estimated to be moving at up to 80 miles an hour. Houses, piles of lumber and even humans suddenly burst into flames. Even the few able to reach a lake or stream and were able to dive into the water found the water so hot their hair would catch on fire.

People not burned to death, and many were reduced to ashes, were killed by suffocation as the fire burned the oxygen right out of the air. It would take years for the vast region burned over by the fire to recover. It is not even known how many died in the firestorm. Estimates of the death toll ran as high as 2,400 and even this may not be the final total. We will never know.

With the Great Chicago Fire occurring on the same day and the remote location of the Peshtigo Fire it has never received as much notoriety as the fire that destroyed Chicago, but only killed around 300 people.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in the path of such a terrible fire. With no rapid way to travel and fire all around you and the air super-heated, it would indeed be a nightmare.

What put the fire out was the wind finally dropped and the air was so filled with soot that it caused raindrops to form and rain began to fall and helped to control the fire.

It is frightening today to realize the United States and English Air Forces deliberately created just such a firestorm in Dresden, Germany, during World War II, and the United States did the same later in Japan.

While the Peshtigo Fire is listed as a natural disaster, it was caused by the acts of man seeking to exploit the natural world. Also man had to have a hand in starting the fire as there were no lightning storms anywhere in the Wisconsin area on Oct. 8, 1871, a date that should indeed go down in history as the day the whole world seemed to those involved to be a huge ball of fire.

Text Only
Community
  • What in the world is a glacial Esker? In a past column I featured a Dedicated State Nature Preserve with a very unique name. This was the Coastal Plain Ponds Nature Preserve in Jasper County. Another area also has a distinctive name. This is the Glacial Esker Nature Preserve in Noble Cou

    July 29, 2014

  • Tuesday's Area Briefs CorrectionThis year will be the 129th, not the 159th, Old Settlers celebration, as was printed in the Old Settlers story in the Friday edition of the Times Herald. Also David Beasley did not serve as the Grand Marshall. We regret the confusion.Counci

    July 29, 2014

  • Spry Anni. NAME celebrates anniversary The children and grandchildren of Van and Joy Spry will host an open house to celebrate the couple's 50th wedding anniversary from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Simon Graber Complex. All friends and family are invited. No gifts please, just the hono

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Daviess County Court News Infractions James D. Allen, Washington, disregarding stop sign, $119.50. Donald R. Anderson, Evansville, speeding, $119.50. Kristi J. Barley, Washington, speeding, $119.50. Kaylee R. Bath, Washington, failure of occupant to use safety belt, $25. Jami

    July 26, 2014

  • Bledsoe makes dean's list at Anderson Megan Bledsoe of Washington has been named to the dean's list at Anderson University for the spring semester of the 2013-14 academic year. To be named to the dean's list, a student must earn a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a scale

    July 26, 2014

  • Capture.JPG MAP: Local Yard Sales

    Here are the local yard sales for this weekend. To get your yard sale on a future map, call 812-254-0480, ext. 111.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • TODAY's Area Briefs Hope House to give out food, clothesHope House, 704 W. Van Trees St., will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday to give free food and clothing to anyone in need. Hope House is a ministry of Church on the Way.Commissioners to meet MondayDaviess County

    July 25, 2014

  • Daviess County Court News Criminal Cases FiledState of Indiana v. Jody W. Williams, check deception. State of Indiana v. Danielle Lynn Runyan, illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage.State of Indiana v. Tomi L. Thomson, illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage.State

    July 25, 2014

  • REMC Area students travel to D.C. with REMC LOOGOOTEE — Three Indiana high school students, chosen by Daviess-Martin County REMC to participate, were among 72 from Indiana and 1,600 from 43 states who participated in the electric cooperative Youth Tour to Washington D.C., from June 12-19. Area

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prairie Village Nursing Home serves breakfast to Towers Debbie Miles with Prairie Village Nursing Home served biscuits and gravy to the residents of the Washington Towers on July 16. Those attending were Marilyn Barrett, Barry and Cathy Baumert, Marie Cain, Debbie Fields, Tom Fisher, Mike Grannan, Rita Gu

    July 24, 2014