Research Paper On Peshtigo Fire Of 1871

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Name Professor Course Date The Peshtigo fire of 1871 was a forest fire that occurred around Peshtigo in Wisconsin. The fire claimed more than 15000 thousand lives and left a lot of property destroyed. The fire was augmented by the hot temperatures and the widespread drought which left the dense forest covering the area unusually dry. Clearing of land and harvesting of lumber left large piles of saw dust and waste from the lumbering process throughout the forest. The poor lumbering practises made it easier for the fire to spread quickly. In addition, the cyclonic storm that cycled the area enhanced the intensity of the fire. The incident did not involve a flashover but it involved some backdraft. A backdraft occurs when additional air is introduced a fire. In this case, the cyclone in the area introduced additional air to the fire thus increasing the available oxygen for combustion. The lumbering process left a lot of hazardous material in the forest. These hazardous materials accelerated the spread of the fire. In addition, there were large quantities of industrial cleaners, wood treatment and lubricants which further accelerated the fire (Haines and Earl 114). The fire occurred overnight and by …show more content…

There was no organised effort to mitigate or respond to such incidents. The incident helped in the establishment of an emergency system to respond to similar disasters. The people who were affected by the fire tried to shelter from the intensity of the flames but most of them died. Survivors sought refuge in rivers and wetlands to avoid the scorching heat. When the fire subsided, relief from organisations and other well-wishers was provided to these people. The problems encountered during this incident involved poor communication. For example, the news of the fire only reached Chicago two days after the incident. Poor communications greatly affected the response time (Pernin

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