Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894

Under a Flaming Sky The Great Hinckley Firestorm of On September two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley Minnesota trapping than two thousand people The fire created its own weather including hurricane strength winds bubbles of

  • Title: Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894
  • Author: Daniel James Brown
  • ISBN: 9780061236259
  • Page: 166
  • Format: Paperback
  • On September 1, 1894, two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping than two thousand people The fire created its own weather, including hurricane strength winds, bubbles of plasma like glowing gas, and 200 foot tall flames As temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the firestorm knocked down buildings and carried flaming debris highOn September 1, 1894, two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping than two thousand people The fire created its own weather, including hurricane strength winds, bubbles of plasma like glowing gas, and 200 foot tall flames As temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, the firestorm knocked down buildings and carried flaming debris high into the sky Two trains one with every single car on fire became the only means of escape In all, than four hundred people would die, leading to a revolution in forestry management and the birth of federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires A spellbinding account of danger, devastation, and courage, Under a Flaming Sky reveals the dramatic, minute by minute story of the tragedy and brings into focus the ordinary citizens whose lives it irrevocably marked.

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      Published :2020-08-04T08:06:12+00:00

    About " Daniel James Brown "

  • Daniel James Brown

    Daniel James Brown fell in love with the written word when he was five and his mother first read Danny and the Dinosaur to him Since then he has earned a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in English from UCLA He has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University and now lives in the country east of Redmond, Washington, where he writes nonfiction books about compelling historical events.Brown s newest book is the New York Times bestseller The Boys in the Boat Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics The book chronicles the extraordinary saga of nine working class boys who stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans in the midst of the Great Depression The Weinstein Company has purchased the rights to adapt the book for a feature film.HIs previous book The Indifferent Stars Above The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride was Chosen as an INDIE NEXT NOTABLE SELECTION by the American Bookseller s Association, it recounts the extraordinary journey of a young woman whose fate became entangled with that of the infamous Donner Party in 1846 His earlier book Under a Flaming Sky The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 takes the reader back to the events of September 1, 1894, when his great grandfather and than 300 other people died in one of America s greatest forest fire disasters That book was selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, was named one of the Best Books of 2006 by Booklist magazine, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award.


  • This book tells the tale of a devastating conflagration that wiped out the town of Hinckley in the year 1894. The relevance to today as much of our country goes up in smoke cannot be overstated. There is much information here that was news to me, details about prairie fires. Much of the book is taken up with a novelistic recreation of the actions of a host of real people, some of whom survived the event, most of whom did not. I found that I was not all that engaged with the personal struggles, b [...]

  • If I ever have kids - and ain't that a notion! - I will never let them play video games or watch violent movies or do any of the other things I was so happy to do as a child. That's because I am acutely aware of how a young mind can be indelibly molded by the experiences of childhood. My current (and undiminished) obsessions with the Titanic, Custer's Last Stand, and the Alamo, all flow from my early introduction to these harrowing stories of men and women in the last moments of their life, enac [...]

  • All of my life I've heard about The Great Hinckley Fire and have seen multiple pictures of the monument but I never knew much about what happened other than my great-great grandparents were able to escape with my great grandfather and his siblings. I've always wanted to know more but never really knew where to look since I'm in Ohio and have never been to Minnesota. In High School we had to write a play or novel based on a historic event and I wrote mine based on the fire and actually almost fai [...]

  • What.aok.I just realized the other night that I’ve been back in my home state of Nebraska for a full year after a warm five year respite in the South. That means, since its now November, this is going to be my first full winter back. It started slow last year, which suited me fine, but it culminated in one 8 inch snow, and then a final 2 inch snow in the beginning of May. Now, for the first time in years, I’m going to sit through the whole thing. Already the temperatures swing back and forth [...]

  • Much like the story of the blizzard of 1888, it details how the fire started, how it affected people both physically and psychologically, and puts one in the middle of a mega fire storm. Great read!

  • Under a Flaming Sky is a sad yet true story of a fire in Minnesota many years ago. It was recommended to me by a very close friend. I'm glad that he was able to share this sad, yet incredible story with me.

  • In late summer of 1894, towering flames stretching many miles wide ripped through a string of small communities in northern Minnesota, obliterating the towns and killing hundreds of people. In the town of Hinckley, people escaped on two trains, one of which was already in flames by the time it pulled out of the station in a desperate attempt to reach a lake 5 miles away. Author Daniel Brown grew up with this story since his grandfather survived the fire as a child. If you liked The Children’s [...]

  • Devastating fires killed more than 400 people and destroyed over 350,000 acres of land in 5 hours in 1894. Through a historical overview and personal stories, author does a good job of portraying the devastation in the loss of human life and in property damage. I look at this as a cautionary tale as to what can happen when rules and regulations devised to preserve the environment and promote safety are not in place. And the country at this point seems to be moving backwards on these points with [...]

  • This is really a 4.5 book for me. Extreme Story, well written. It has changed the way I understand humanity and challenges. Grateful the author remembered and honored his grandfather and great-grandfather. Highly recommend this book but, don't read it if you are in the mood for a fluff book. This book does open up your heart and makes you think.

  • It took me a very long time to finish this, because it was so horrific (and by horrific, I mean the content, not the writing), it made me physically anxious. I loved it though. It was incredibly comprehensive, following a small group of people and how they fared during the fire, as well as after.

  • What an engrossing book. Makes the fraility of life very obvious. The stories of what happened to the poor people in the towns is heart wrenching.

  • Really engrossing book that kept me hooked all the way through. Learned so much more about wild fires and how out of control they can become

  • While the huge firestorm at Peshtigo, Wisconsin in 1871 was, as far as is known, the largest wildfire ever to hit this continent, with the greatest loss of life ever recorded of such a fire, the 1894 firestorm at Hinckley was remarkable for a number of reasons. The first was that it was the last such great fire in what had once been a vast conifer forest spread out across what are now the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and southern Canada. The Peshtigo fire burned o [...]

  • In 1894, a ferocious firestorm swept through northeast Minnesota, wiping out a number of towns (the biggest one being Hinckley), killing hundreds, and leaving many hundreds more injured and homeless and destitute. The author, whose great-grandfather perished in the fire, does a great job here of combining the accounts of the survivors into a cohesive narrative. When people saw the fire coming, they reacted in a number of different ways. Some hid in their cellars or jumped down wells, some were a [...]

  • This is a fantastic book. It's sadder than sad and unflinching as it looks at the horrible things that happened to so many people on that September day in 1894. Brown has a close personal connection to the fire, and the introduction about his grandfather waking up screaming decades later caught my attention right away.Brown covers the science of fires, but instead of giving it its own chapter he masterfully weaves it into the fabric of the story. I found myself actually holding my breath at some [...]

  • I have this strange fascination for disaster survival stories. I think what draws me to them the most is discovering the way people respond when such awful things occur. This book I've read before interestingly enough, but it felt like a first read. Brown has done a phenomenal job of putting the reader in the story. Not only does he tell the story of a horrible wildfire that wreaked havoc, but he also delves into some of the things society has learned about fire over the last hundred years. He t [...]

  • I'm from the Twin Cities and I have been making the sojourn North since I was in the 9th grade (at that time, from Iowa). Tobies has always been associated with journeys north. While it's a mainstay of the Hinkley exit, perfectly appointed between the Twin Cities and Duluth, it doesn't have anything to do with the great fire of 1894. Which is why this book was so surprising and informative; I had heard of a great fire, but had no idea just how dramatic, deadly and tragic it ultimately was. Brown [...]

  • This was the first book on fires that I ever read. I never knew much about the dynamics of large fires or the power they possessed. They create their own weather!! Boiling hot rain, flame tornado's, high winds Despite my mild interest and lack of knowledge this book was incredible. I will never look at large scale fires the same. This is an amazing story and it definitely opened a whole new genre of books for me. I have read several books on fires now. thanks to this book. Even if fires aren't y [...]

  • Not only a comprehensive account of the disaster, this book also included in-depth information on how firestorms form and move and a chilling description of the physiological effects of burns. After reading it I couldn't believe anyone survived their injuries. It was also interesting to see the role the railroads played in the evacuation of the town, and how they (unsuccessfully) attempted to evacuate other towns in the fire's path. This leads to a discussion on the way people react in emergenci [...]

  • As was The Indifferent Stars Above, this is an extremely well-researched look at another little-known American tragedy, the huge forest fire that obliterated Hinckley, Minnesota in 1894. Does a good job of putting a human face on this disaster, and made me feel the suffering of those who lived through it, and those who didn't. I visited the fire museum and the mass grave site/memorial in Hinckley several years ago; this book was a good adjunct to that visit, and fleshed out the story much more e [...]

  • I'll be honest, sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of who was who and who was headed where, but perhaps I should blame myself and not necessarily the author. I'd never heard of this tragedy, and it blew my mind. How absolutely terrifying! I just can't imagine what these people went through as they fled for their lives and watched their loved ones die in the most horrific way. It truly was a fascination of abomination.

  • This account of two forest fires that converged on September 1st, 1894 in Hinckley, Minnesota, held me spellbound from cover to cover- like driving by a bad wreck you have to look and know what happened. Written by a descendant of a survivor it relates the riveting details in all the horror and majesty nature can unleash. From this historic incident came the birth of forestry management and federal agencies that manage forest fires.

  • I started reading this book about 9 pm. And I read the whole thing. It was intense and really got you into the events as they were unfolding. Not for the weak of heart, as it's very graphic. It was a challenge to keep up with who was who but that kind of added to the chaotic feel of the book (in a good way).

  • Very powerful history narritive written by the same author as Boys in the Boat(which I will be reading again when I have the chance). I went to college in Minnesota and knew only of this town by name so was very surprised to read about this. WORTH READING!

  • Under a Flaming Sky captures the horror of a five hour firestorm that truly did have "tornadoes of fire and "fireballs" from the sky as it consumed all inert organic matter over a 200,000 acre expanse in Central Minnesota. Coupled with 436 deaths and casualties probably double that, it is also a story of heroism and pathos. Brown provides backstories, much in the style of Erik Larson, that rivet the reader to the characters experiencing the events of that day in 1894, as well as giving us a tuto [...]

  • Other reviewers are correct: this is a well written and intensely sad story. But it's not the "five stars" it might otherwise deserve because the history seems very likely to have been filled in. There can be no doubt that the fire happened and destroyed many lives. Yet there is a suspicious level of detail, including psychological detail. One person felt a knot in their stomach. Another wondered where so-and-so had gone. None of this was recorded in the moment. The nature of fire is that there [...]

  • This is the second book I have read by Daniel James Brown; the first being THE BOYS IN THE BOAT.As much as I loved that read, this one truly struck a chord with me.It is the story of the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894 and the unearthly horror and destruction of a true firestorm.Brown, brings the events to life and, oh so well, presents the humanity of this history.It made me ponder, how events like this happen; how could nature rage like that. I had to go back to the Robber Barons, and Tycoons of t [...]

  • Brown records the great firestorm in 1894 that consumed Hinckley, Minnesota and several other small towns nearby. One of the 450 killed was his great-grandfather, Evan Hansen. Much of this book follows the formation of the fire itself using current fire and weather information. Without the railroads passing through these towns, many more lives would have been lost. The personal stories gathered and told are particularly poignant and often horrific, compassionately offered. Over 20 years, nearly [...]

  • This is a very well written novel--I LOVED Boys in the Boat and the book on the Donner party--but at times it just felt like an endless list of what happened to X person. "So-and-so hunkered down in a well. So-and-so took shelter in a barn. So-and-so was burned here. So-and-so was burned there." It is amazing the kind of research that went into this book and the story Brown tells. But I guess I wanted a little more story and a little less listing of every single thing that happened to every pers [...]

  • I tend to have a short attention span, so if a book doesn't grab me right away, I may set it down and not finish it. This one grabbed me right away. I'm finding it both disturbing and entertaining. It's tragic in so many ways. the way the forests were demolished in such a reckless way, the rivers and lakes all used up, the fire was almost karma. I love that there is lots of drama, but also a great explanation of why and how the fire spread the way it did. Once it was headed your way, there was a [...]

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