Under A Flaming Sky

Under A Flaming Sky

The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894

Book - 2007
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On September 1, 1894, two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping more than two thousand people. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. As temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the firestorm knocked down buildings and carried flaming debris high into the sky. Two trains--one with every single car on fire--became the only means of escape. In all, more than four hundred people would die, leading to a revolution in forestry management and the birth of federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires.

A spellbinding account of danger, devastation, and courage, Under a Flaming Sky reveals the dramatic, minute-by-minute story of the tragedy and brings into focus the ordinary citizens whose lives it irrevocably marked.

Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2007
Edition: 1st Harper Perennial ed
ISBN: 9780061236259
006123625X
Characteristics: xi, 256, 16 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 21 cm

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HCL_staff_reviews Dec 01, 2016

It was unusually hot and dry in the summer of 1894 with small fires breaking out regularly. Then on September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged, creating a "firestorm", on the town of Hinckley, trapping over 2,000 people. Over 400 people perished in the raging fire. Many of them thou... Read More »


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kingjohne
Nov 15, 2018

This is a good very good read, covering the times, the railroads, and what a firestorm really is. As I write this, we are just getting details about the firestorm that destroyed Paradise, CA (2018). This detailed description of what a firestorm is like is so important if one is to truly understand conditions in Paradise, CA, and other locations when the fire reaches this point that so much energy is released that it is beyond what we normally consider a forest or wild fire. As a Fire Protection Engineer, I appreciated that the physics involved were well described and accurate. The writer did his homework. Great read!

HCL_staff_reviews Dec 01, 2016

It was unusually hot and dry in the summer of 1894 with small fires breaking out regularly. Then on September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged, creating a "firestorm", on the town of Hinckley, trapping over 2,000 people. Over 400 people perished in the raging fire. Many of them thought that the dark skies and strong winds they saw and heard were bringing severe storms, possibly a tornado, so they took cover in basements and storm cellars where they suffocated. Brown brings a human voice to this disaster through his use of eyewitness accounts. This is an important part of Minnesota history that I didn't learn about growing up in suburban Minneapolis. — Jennifer L., Ridgedale Library

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hugotoo
Nov 03, 2015

Great read. This should really be a fire movie in the same way Twister was a tornado movie. Sure the author may have taken a little liberty, but he did such a good job at the details about everything to do with a firestorm.

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