August 1933: Fire Consumes Oregon’s Tillamook Forest

On August 14, 1933 a tiny spark landed in dry tinder at a logging site in the Coast Range. For ten days the fire burned and then, with continued hot temperatures, low humidity and a fresh storm blowing in off the Pacific, the fire exploded.

Tillamook fire1
A cloud of smoke mushroomed 40,000 feet into the sky and during the next two days, what became known as the Tillamook Fire, cut the heart out of Oregon’s most productive forest. It consumed well over a quarter-of-a-million acres of virgin Douglas fir timber.
The total economic loss was said to be in excess of 600 million dollars. The fire burned until the arrival of the rainy season, and even then, throughout the long winter, blackened snags continued to smolder.

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