A riveting account of a monster firestorm -- the rarest kind of catastrophic fire -- and the extraordinary people who survived its wrath.
On October 8, 1871 -- the same night as the Great Chicago Fire -- an even deadlier conflagration was sweeping through the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, 260 miles north of Chicago. The five-mile-wide wall of flames, borne on tornado-force winds of 100 miles per hour, tore across more than 2,400 square miles of land, obliterating Peshtigo in less than one hour and killing more than 2,000 people.
Firestorm at Peshtigo places the reader at the center of the blow-out. Through accounts of newspaper publishers Luther Noyes and Franklin Tilton, lumber baron Isaac Stephenson, parish priest Father Peter Pernin, and meteorologist Increase Lapham -- the only person who understood the unusual and dangerous nature of this fire -- Denise Gess and William Lutz re-create the story of the people, the politics, and the place behind this monumental natural disaster, delivering it from the lost annals of American history.
Drawn from survivors' letters, diaries, interviews, and local newspapers, Firestorm at Peshtigo tells the human story behind America's deadliest wildfire.