Palo, MN Forest Fire, May 1915


Homes of Three Farmers Are Burned - Lumber Company's Timber in Path of Flames.

(News Tribune Special.)

CLOQUET, Minn., May 29. - Fire which has been raging in the timber lands owned by the Cloquet Lumber company in the unorganized township east of Palo and 10 miles south of Aurora, tonight got beyond control of the farmers and lumbermen and wiped out the homes and farm buildings of three farmers.

At midnight the flames were sweeping through the timber and threatened to do damage mounting well up into the thousands of dollars. The homes of 200 farmers are in the path of the fire. Efforts are being made to reach L. R. Beatty, fire warden of the district, whose home is at Orr, but there is no telephone connection with the village. The telegraph operator at Orr could not be aroused.

Saari Bros., an Eveleth firm of logging contractors of whom Jacob Saari, mayor of Eveleth, is a member, operates two camps in the threatened district. It is reported here that a valuable lot of ties belonging to the firm has been burned. Mayor Saari has gone to the scene in an effort to prevent further loss.

N. B. Shank, of Biwabik, has a camp six miles from the burning timber. The telephone at his camp is the nearest wire connection. Lumbermen located there reported at midnight that the fire was being fanned by a high wind and was sweeping everything before it.

Homes and Barns Destroyed.

The homes of Andrew Sepponen and two of his neighbors, together with all of their farm buildings were licked up by the flames. These losses were reported by Andrew Thompson, a farmer living near the path of the fire, to the authorities at Aurora. Dr. Edward Darrow, former mayor of Aurora and deputy coroner of St. Louis county said tonight that he would visit the scene in the morning, but was powerless to assist tonight.

Train Dispatcher Wick, of the Canadian Northern road at Virginia, attempted to "raise" the telegraph operator at Orr, but was unable to do so. He stated that he would order the train crew on an early morning freight to stop at Orr and get word to Fire Warden Beatty in time for him to board the 4:30 o'clock south bound passenger train in an effort to reach the scene and direct the fire fighters.

The burning section is described as Township 57, range 58 and either section 15 or 18. The tracks of the Cloquet Lumber company are said to run through the threatened district.

It was impossible tonight to reach any of the officials of the lumber company. Some of them are said to have gone in automobiles to the fire district to lend their aid in stopping the progress of the flames.

The Duluth News-Tribune, Duluth, MN 30 May 1915