Fires of 1918

The horror and hardship of the great Minnesota fires of 1918 are hard to imagine 100-years later. Words alone cannot describe the sheer terror and confusion created by flames that killed nearly 500 in northeastern Minnesota, forcing more than 50-thousand people from their homes. Ten communities were destroyed and dozens more were damaged in an inferno that covered an 1,800-square mile area. From Moose Lake to Cloquet to Duluth, every survivor marked time from that point forward as “before the fire” or “after the fire”. The date October 12, 1918 will forever be remembered in this part of the world as a date that didn’t just make history, but erased history. Now, a century later, WDSE WRPT presents a new documentary on the greatest catastrophe ever in northern Minnesota, “Fires of 1918”.

Watch the Full Documentary

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Historical Examples from the Documentary

Fires of 1918 Map

Fires of 1918 Map

This map shows the areas of the Northland affected by the fires. Click photo for fullscreen version.

Lesson Plans for Teachers