The Holocaust


Saltese 59867,Missoula Area

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Location: West of Saltese

In 1910, this was a remote neck of the woods and hard to reach. Forest fire protection was relatively new. That dry summer many small fires started. Public apathy, together with a manpower shortage, lack of organization and good equipment and inaccessibility permitted them to spread and join. Hell broke loose in August. Whipped by 50-mile gales, the combined blaze covered 3,000 square miles in three days. Animals were trapped, 87 human lives were lost, settlements and railroad trestles were destroyed, six billion board feet of timber burned like kindling. The pungent smoke pall stretched to eastern Montana.

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