Stormy Weather


How have weather-related forest fires created tragic disasters in the United States?

Dry, hot conditions and lightning have caused some of the most devastating forest fires in the United States. For example, on September 1, 1894, a heat wave in the Midwest led to a forest fire near Hinkley, Minnesota, where 400 people consequently lost their lives; and on October 8, 1871, the so-called Peshtigo fire killed 1,800 people in Michigan and Wisconsin. Northern climes are particularly vulnerable to forest fires caused by the weather. During Alaska’s mild, dry summers, for instance, the state experiences a dramatic rise in forest fires.


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