Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894

by Daniel James Brown

Lyons Press | May 1, 2006 | Hardcover |

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On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over 2,000 people. Daniel J. Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in the first and only book on to chronicle the dramatic story that unfolded. Whereas Oregon''s famous "Biscuit" fire in 2002 burned 350,000 acres in one week, the Hinckley fire did the same damage in five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, "fire whirls," or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire to knock down buildings and carry flaming debris into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit--the melting point of steel. As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Two trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. The heroic young African-American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back his locomotive out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than 400 people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today.
Author Daniel Brown has woven together numerous survivors'' stories, historical sources, and interviews with forest fire experts in a gripping narrative that tells the fascinating story of one of North America''s most devastating fires and how it changed the nation.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: May 1, 2006

Publisher: Lyons Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1592288634

ISBN - 13: 9781592288632

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Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894

Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894

by Daniel James Brown

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: May 1, 2006

Publisher: Lyons Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1592288634

ISBN - 13: 9781592288632

About the Book

One of North Americas most destructive fires and the amazing true story of how its survivors escaped to change a nation

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Foreword
Chapter One: Night Music
Chapter Two: Morning
Chapter Three: Home Sweet Home
Chapter Four: Something Wicked
Chapter Five: The Cauldron
Chapter Six: Ragnarok
Chapter Seven: Under the Stone
Chapter Eight: Into the Ring
Chapter Nine: Out of the Ashes
Chapter Ten: The Broken Season
Epilogue
Afterword

From the Publisher

On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over 2,000 people. Daniel J. Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in the first and only book on to chronicle the dramatic story that unfolded. Whereas Oregon''s famous "Biscuit" fire in 2002 burned 350,000 acres in one week, the Hinckley fire did the same damage in five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, "fire whirls," or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire to knock down buildings and carry flaming debris into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit--the melting point of steel. As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Two trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. The heroic young African-American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back his locomotive out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than 400 people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today.
Author Daniel Brown has woven together numerous survivors'' stories, historical sources, and interviews with forest fire experts in a gripping narrative that tells the fascinating story of one of North America''s most devastating fires and how it changed the nation.

From the Jacket

On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over two thousand people. Daniel James Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in Under a Flaming Sky, the most gripping and comprehensive chronicle of how the dramatic story unfolded. Whereas Oregon's famous “Biscuit" fire in 2002 took more than a week to burn its first 350,000 acres, the Hinckley fire did the same amount of damage in only five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, “fire whirls," or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire, knocking down buildings and carrying flaming debris high into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit—the melting point of steel.
As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Both trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. A heroic young African-American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than four hundred people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and the birth of federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today.




About the Author

Daniel Brown grew up with stories of the Hinckley firestorm ringing in his ears. His great-grandfather died in the fire, while his grandfather and great-grandmother escaped on a burning train. Brown recently retired from Microsoft Corporation where he was a managing editor. Before working at Microsoft, he taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University, and is the coauthor of two textbooks on writing. He lives in the country east of Redmond, Washington, with his wife and two daughters.
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