Are There Any Wildfires in the U.S. Right Now? History of Fires in the USA
Primitive people were able to tame fire, it served to warm their homes, food became tasty and varied, the flames of fire deterred predatory animals from caves and homes, but with the first steps toward civilization, the fire began to take over people.
The Greatest Fires in the USA History
More often than not, it was humans who set the worst fires. This happened during wars and revolutions. The flames destroyed entire cities, cultural monuments, and other objects.
Thousands of people died, crops perished and famine began. It took more than a year to recover. That is why fires can be called companions of progress.
The Great Fire in New York, 1776
In 1776 there was not yet an independent U.S. state. America was a British colony, and Americans were fighting a just war of independence against the European colonizers. In the summer of 1776, the British were already in New York. Suddenly some revolutionary officers had the idea, instead of fighting against the British, to burn the city with the colonists sitting there. He basically wanted to set the USA on fire.
Such a brave, but crazy idea! That is why most American commanders rejected the idea, but a week later the city did catch fire. The fire started in a New York City restaurant, the wind swiftly throwing the fire from one building to another. As a result, nearly 500 homes burned and many occupants died. Officers of the Revolutionary Army had already left the city by then.
Read also: The Biggest Fires In History
The Great Fire in the USA, Chicago, 1871
The huge fire in Chicago in 1871 caused massive destruction in the city – 17 thousand buildings were burned down and hundreds of people died. This big fire in the USA today is still considered to be one of the deadliest in U.S. history! It should be noted that the fire was spreading relatively slowly, but the number of victims was huge — almost 500 people.
But the fierce winter hit the fire victims, who were left without a roof over their heads. It is believed that the O’Leary family, in whose barn the fatal fire occurred, was responsible for the tragedy. To know more about this fire, read our article, where you may find the most interesting information and facts about this disaster!
The Great Fire in Boston, 1872
This is the worst fire in the history of the American city of Boston. Search the Internet to find the USA fire map of 1872 to understand the scale of the fire that day. In 1872, the city was literally engulfed in flames. Office buildings, stores, markets, and citizens’ homes burst into flames. The once richest city’s economy was severely damaged.
Almost thirty people lost their lives and thousands of people were out of homes and work. The property damage was so enormous that the fire is considered the most expensive in U.S. history, and it took several years for the full fire recovery for the USA.
Fire in San Francisco in 1906
In April 1906, the American city of San Francisco was hit by the worst earthquake in U.S. history. Because of this natural cataclysm, there was a major fire in the city. On April 18, the city was shaken by tremors. However, the shaking of the earth did not cause any tangible damage.
But people, in particular poorly trained rescuers, trying to clear passageways among the damaged buildings, completed the picture of the disaster. In addition to the rescuers, citizens also “did their part” by deliberately setting their homes on fire in the hope of obtaining insurance coverage after the fire.
The fire could not be extinguished in time, since the water supply had been destroyed by the earthquake. Everything was complicated by the death of the chief of the USA fire protection living in that city, who, thanks to his great experience, knew how to properly lead the work of extinguishing fires. After this incident, the firefighters without a leader and with very little knowledge of the USA water and fire restoration were unable to cope with this dangerous element.
The flames of the earthquake had engulfed all the homes of the townspeople. Firefighters lacked the necessary equipment to put out the fire. So, about 3,000 people died in the fire and 25,000 homes burned down.
Texas City Fire, 1947
The cause of the fire was an “unfortunate” tossed cigarette in the hold of a French dry cargo ship. That was the most unexpected fire outbreak in the USA and today the history repeated itself with the explosion in Beirut port. The ship, with 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate on board, exploded instantly. The shockwave from the explosion was so strong that it was recorded by seismographs thousands of miles away from the epicenter. As a result, thousands of buildings were demolished, and about 500 people were killed. Residents fled the engulfed city in flames. It took hundreds of millions of dollars to fully rebuild Texas City. To know more, read our previous article.
That was the biggest fire in the USA, but today we have much more fires burning forests and cities. Are there any wildfires in the U.S. right now?
Fire in USA Today, 2021
This year, the heat in these areas is breaking all records. Especially in California, where bushfires in the USA today are destroying nature. If to look at the fire in the USA today map, in northern California, 187,500 acres are on fire.
Not far behind is neighboring Arizona in terms of forest fire in the USA today. Temperatures have reached 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Such a situation increases the risk of fires and contributes to the spread of flames. In all, there are over 30 large-scale active fires in the country at this time. (See the updated fire map of the USA below).
There have been other terrible events in history besides fires. Follow our blog to learn more!