Wallace, ID Forest Fire, Aug 1910
Wide District Devastated.
MISSOULA, Mont., Aug. 21.-Mercilessly and relentlessly the forest fires in western Montana and Idaho are sweeping over a vast area, driving hundreds of fugitives before them, destroying small settlements and wiping out of existence millions of dollars worth of property.
The situation tonight is more serious than it was in the early morning, except as to Wallace, Idaho, where it is believed that nearly half of the city will be saved. Communication with Wallace, to the west has been possible at intervals today, but eastward it is entirely cut off. It is known that the entire east half of the town above Seventh street has been burned.
West of that a hard fight is being made, and with an improvement in the water supply there is more change that the flames may be driven back.
Says Thirteen are Dead
For a few minutes this afternoon the Daily Missoulan's reporter at Wallace, had a wire. He summarized the situation as follows:
"Thirteen lives lost; property loss one million; fire still threatening."
Relief Train Organized
The forestry service has organized a relief train well equipped with pack animals, carrying provisions and hospital supplies, and will endeavor to get through the fire.
About a thousand refugees have been brought into Missoula today. There is much distress among them Their wants are being supplied by Missoula people and they have been given temporary homes. The first of the trains came in over the Northern Pacific's Couer d'Alene branch and brought the patients who had been in the Sisters' hospital at Wallace and as many refugees as could find places on the small train.
There were 250 on this train and a second train at noon brought as many more. These people came from the small towns along the line between here and Wallace. Many of them had been roused from their sleep by the people on the train, whose summons had been the first intimation that the fire was near; there had been no sign of it when the people went to bed Saturday night. In most instances these people escaped only scantily clad. A woman who had fled from her home at midnight gave birth to a child in a box car just after the arrival of the first train at Missoula.
Caring for the Refugees.
Local hospitals are caring for the sick. Missoula homes have been opened freely and the homeless are comfortable for the present.
Another train with 500 people on board, is expected over the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound railway.
The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE 22 Aug 1910
Some of the Dead.
SPOKANE, Wash., Aug. 22-Twenty-three persons are known to have perished and between seventy-five and 100 are missing in the forest fires raging in the Panhandle of Idaho, in the Couer d'Alene district.
K. G. BOYD of Wallace, suffocated by smoke. [note: should be J. G. BOYD]
MRS CHARLES SMITH and a one-year old baby, drowned in a well into which they jumped to avoid flames.
MISS AMELIA WARD, stenographer, suffocated by smoke.
TWELVE UNIDENTIFIED fire fighters from a crew of Ranger Bell, burned or suffocated.
SIX UNIDENTIFIED fire fighters from a crew of Ranger EDWARD PULASK.
ONE UNIDENTIFIED fighter from the crew of Ranger DANIELSON.
The seriously injured, mostly fire fighters, will number, according to the statement of W. R. Weigle, forester superintendent of the Couer d'Alenes more than one hundred. Many of them have been stricken blind and others have broken limbs.
Other Probable Losses.
Other probable losses of life also are reported. Three families of homesteaders, comprising fifteen persons are said to have perished in La Tour creek, near Catoldo, Idaho, in the forest fires. They are JOHN ANDREASE, wife and five children; B. A. SMITH, wife and two children, and JAMES OSBORNE, wife and family.
Never in the history of Idaho has the baptism of August fire reached such widespread proportions, or created such universal damage.
The flames have consumed virgin forests, homesteads, mine buildings and human lives.
The stampede for safety has strained the facilities of the railroads and the passenger trains are made up of day coaches and box cars.
People from sick beds, cripples and other unfortunates are loaded on the trains to be taken to Parson, Couer d'Alene and Spokane.
Thirty men out of a crew of forty-seven fire-fighters, in charge of Forest Ranger LEE HOLLINGSHEAS, are missing and are believed to have perished Saturday night when their camp at Big Creek, a tributary of the St. Joseph river, sixteen miles from Avery, Idaho, was swept by flames. This word was brought to Spokane today by W. D. MCLELLAN, a newspaper photographer. MCLELLAN was one of the relief party which made the trip to Big creek Sunday to rescue survivors. The heat was so intense that the party was unable to approach the spot where the camp had stood.
The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE 23 Aug 1910