Devlin, ON Bush Fires Cause Destruction, June 1910



Lavallee, Ont., June 29. -- Bush fires which have been burning in this vicinity for several days were today fanned by a high wind until they swept through the country, carrying terror and destruction. At Devlin, a prosperous town in the Rainy River district, fire swept down from the south into the large timber yard of the Saskatchewan government, burning up several thousand telephone poles. The fire jumped the tracks of the Canadian Northern, burning up four cars of timber loaded for Sasketchewan and then cleaned up the whole of the timber stored in the Canadian Northern Railway yards, consisting in part of many thousands of posts and ties belonging to Mackenzie, Mann & Company, and a large quantity of square cedar and telegraph poles. It swept onward towards the town cleaning up the lumber output of the Burrs Lumber Company's saw mill on its way.
The people of the town by this time had given up all hopes of saving their dwellings and were clamoring for the Canadian Northern Railway to send a train to rescue them. This was done, but by this time the wind had dropped considerably and the male portion of the population decided to stay and do all they could towards saving the town. At the time of writing this despatch the town is completely encircled with fire.
The fire is sweeping on towards the town of Lavallee which is only two miles distant, but it is hoped, if the wind still moderates, to save this town and the extensive timber yards by back firing. If the wind should arise again nothing could save either Devlin or Lavallee. The C.N.R. has furnished a large gang of men to assist in fighting the flames. The whole of this district is in great danger from fires and unless rain comes immediately this splendid timber region will be wiped out of existence.
The homesteads of W. Page, R. Stephenson, H. Tough, W. McFaddyen, R. Martin, H. Miller and many others were today swept by fire.

Winnipeg Free Press Manitoba 1910-06-30