Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 by Daniel James Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't know why I'm drawn to books about disasters, natural and human-caused. Part of my fascination with them are the individual stories of heroism that are always a part of the events. It's also the stories of the lessons we've learned as a result.
During the summer of 1894 the upper midwest was experiencing drought and extreme heat. When that was combined with poor forest management, conditions were ideal for catastrophic fires. That's exactly what happened. The town of Hinckley and a huge area around the town was destroyed by the massive firestorm. The author was motivated to investigate this fire and its circumstances because his grandfather was one of the survivors.
This book describes the event in great detail, and at times the details were hard to read. The author did a good job of explaining the science behind fire behavior, and the relationship between fire and meteorologic conditions. It was a compelling read too. I wanted to know how the individuals he researched fared.
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