10 Deadliest Wildfires in World History
Wildfires mainly occur in forests and densely combustible vegetation areas. It occurs in rural areas and affects nature and wild animals. It can also occur in big cities, villages, and towns. The cause of the wildfire is completely natural. These days, it mostly happens due to humans. This is the reason why wildfires have become more common nowadays. The impact of wildfire can be deadly and devastating. The following ranking contains the 10 deadliest wildfires in history. We are going to list them on the basis of the number of human casualties. Almost 6 deadliest wildfires on this list have occurred in one single region.
1) Peshtigo Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
The Peshtigo Fire was one of the most dangerous wildfires in human history. It occurred in 1871 and caused more than 1500 fatalities. The fire affected the Great lake region of the US. It spread throughout the United States and also affected Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The main affected area was Peshtigo which claimed more than 1500 lives. That’s why it is known as the “Peshtigo Fire”. Moreover, the fire began in other small areas due to the wind. The region faced extreme drought and heat due to the wildfire.
2) Great Michigan Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
The Great Michigan Fire was the second-deadliest wildfire in world history. The interesting fact about this wildfire is that it happened on the same date and year as the one in Peshtigo. However, it was a separate wildfire and took at least 500 lives. It started on the Eastern Shore of Lake Michigan in 1871. It affected the lower as well as upper Peninsula of Michigan. But, this wildfire was extremely deadly for Peshtigo. The region experienced extreme drought and logging after the wildfire in Great Michigan Fire.
3) Cloquet Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
In the 2oth century, the Cloquet Fire was the third-deadliest wildfire, causing more than 450 fatalities. It happened in 1918 in Minnesota, United States. It affected the lives of around 2000 people and was considered one of the deadliest wildfires in Minnesota’s history. The land in Minnesota was really suitable for harvesting at that time and it attracted so many farmers. But, the wildfire burnt out everything and made the land full of drought. The increase in population was one of the major reasons for this catastrophe. The fire impacted the Cloquet region, that’s why it is named the Cloquet Fire.
4) Great Hinckley Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
In wildfire History, the Great Hinckley Fire was the fourth most disastrous and deadliest wildfire. It happened in 1894 in Minnesota, United States. It reached throughout Eastern Minnesota but affected immensely Hinckley which is a small town in Minnesota. The wildfire took over 418 lives and lasted for 6 to 7 hours. The region was famous for logging activities. But, due to the Great Hinckley Fire, the dry and hot drought began various small fires in the nearby areas.
5) Great Chicago Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
It is a common belief that wildfires only affect small towns and rural areas. But, the Great Chicago Fire occurred in the main city and lasted for 2 days, over 290 people lost their lives. The fire left the 3rd largest city in the US homeless. People still don’t know the real reason for the fire. According to experts, it happened due to the wildfires of Peshtigo. But, the locals blamed an Irish family who lived outside of Chicago. The extreme drought can be another cause of the fire. The Great Chicago Fire was very deadly and destroyed the downtown area of Chicago.
6) Thumb Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
After the Great Michigan Fire, the Thumb Fire occurred in Michigan in 1881. It is considered the devastated and deadliest wildfire in the history of Michigan. It caused over 282 fatalities and happened due to extreme logging and drought. The fire lasted for 6 days and disrupted everything in Eastern Michigan. Due to its shape, it is referred to as the Thumb Fire. The intense logging activities coupled with extremely dry and hot weather initiated a small fire in a forest. It became uncontrollable and many people lost their lives.
7) Indonesian Forest Fires | Deadliest Wildfires
The Indonesian Forest Fire was one of the longest-lasting fires in human history. It lasted for almost a year and 240 people lost their lives. It is also known as the second-deadliest wildfire. The fire happened during the Southeast Asian haze. The region also experienced extreme drought in 1997. The exact location of the wildfire was Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia. The main cause of the wildfire was extreme drought and deforestation. But, the country began to engage in large-scale logging. They also converted their peatlands and swamps into rice paddies and palm plantations. The Indonesian Forest Fire began in mid-1997 due to extreme deforestation and ended in 1988. It affected 20 million acres of land and killed 240 people. Many people lost their homes.
8) Black Dragon Fire | Deadliest Wildfires
The Black Dragon Fire started on May 6, 1987, and ended on June 2, 1987. It happened in modern-day Russia, China and Amur Oblast, and Heilongjiang. It is still dubious what sparked the fire. The real cause of this wildfire was extreme drought. It changed the entire beauty of the forest. Many people blamed the Chinese Government for its logging activities in the area. However, the Chinese Government refused to accept these allegations and blamed an 18-year old worker for igniting the fire. The Black Dragon Fire affected the neighboring regions of the area and killed more than 190 people. The irreversible loss of land forests is another important thing.
9) Black Saturday Bushfires | Deadliest Wildfires
The Black Saturday Bushfires started in 2009. The faulty power line and extreme heat are the main cause of this wildfire. Southern Australia experienced record temperatures on that day. The temperature reached 115.5 Fahrenheit in Melbourne. It also dropped the humidity level and created other problems as well. The Black Saturday Bushfires burned 450000 hectares of land and 173 people lost their lives. Thousands of people lost their homes and more than 400 people got hurt.
10) Attica Wildfires | Deadliest Wildfires
The Attica Wildfires started on July 23, 2018, and ended on July 26, 2018. It was one of the life-threatening wildfires in the history of Europe and Greece overall. The region experienced extreme heat on that day, particularly in the Attica Region, Greece. It was started due to an old man who was trying to burn wood. Due to the extremely hot and dry conditions, the fire spread too quickly in Attica. It also affected the suburbs of Athens. More than 102 people lost their lives in Attica Wildfires incident and thousands of people lost their homes.
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