Coeur d'Alene, ID Forest Fire, Aug 1909


Wall of Flame Five Miles Wide Sweeps Through Couer D'Alene District.

Special to The New York Times.

SPOKANE, Wash., Aug. 21. - Fanned by high winds in the mountains, a fire, with a five-mile front, has been eating its way through the choicest white fir and tamarack forests on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation in Idaho for forty-eight hours, unchecked by a thousand men, who are fighting the blaze. Blinding smoke from the green timber clouds the north and south ends of the region, hiding parties of fire fighters. No deaths have been reported, although scores of woodsmen have not yet been heard from in the smoke-choked timber lands.

Farmers and every available able-bodied man in Rockford, a town of 1,500 inhabitants; Plummer, a town of 500, and many settlements in the timber adjoining Lake Coeur d'Alene, are fighting for their lives, homes, and families. The total loss is estimated at a million and a half of dollars. The Blackwell Lumber Company has holdings valued at $500,000 in this territory, and the 400 employes in lumber camps of this firm have turned from their work to battle with the blaze.

The fire is burning in Eastern Washington and Western Idaho, and from the present direction of the wind there is every indication that it will burn its way into the forests to the north and northwest of the Coeur D'Alene reservation.

Settlers in the Lake Creek country, augmented by parties from smaller towns on the Oregon Railway and Navigation Line, are making an effort to prevent the flames from entering the forests northwest of the reservation. Many farmers have moved their belongings form their homes and now are fire fighting. The women and children have been sent to places of safety in charge of weared fire fighters who have been relieved by newcomers.

The New York Times, New York, NY 22 Aug 1909