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Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 Paperback – Illustrated, February 1, 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 646 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Illustrated with period pictures, this deft slice of regional history will attract disaster and weather buffs as well as fans of Norman Maclean’s standout Young Men and Fire”-- Publisher’s Weekly



…[a] worthy addition to this genre…a compelling read…
…the power of the stories and Brown’s imaginative skill retelling them [pulls] us in…” --MN Star Tribune


Riveting, moving, white-knuckle reading to rank with classic accounts of the “perfect storm”, Krakatoa, and other storied calamities”-- Booklist

From the Back Cover

On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over two thousand people. Daniel James Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in Under a Flaming Sky, the most gripping and comprehensive chronicle of how the dramatic story unfolded. Whereas Oregon's famous “Biscuit” fire in 2002 took more than a week to burn its first 350,000 acres, the Hinckley fire did the same amount of damage in only five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, “fire whirls,” or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire, knocking down buildings and carrying flaming debris high into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit―the melting point of steel.
As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Both trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. A heroic young African-American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than four hundred people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and the birth of federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today.




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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lyons Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1493022008
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1493022007
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.93 x 0.66 x 8.99 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 646 ratings

About the author

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Daniel James Brown grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Diablo Valley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA. He taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical writer and editor. He now writes narrative nonfiction books full time. His primary interest as a writer is in bringing compelling historical events to life vividly and accurately.

He and his wife live in the country outside of Seattle, Washington, with an assortment of cats, dogs, chickens, and honeybees. When he isn't writing, he is likely to be birding, gardening, fly fishing, reading American history, or chasing bears away from the beehives.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
646 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

james b micheli
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 17, 2013
Les
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on August 15, 2019
Gordie Rowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Hinckley Fire of 1884
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on February 14, 2015