The Cloquet Fire of 1918

Disaster: Wildfire

Year: 1918

Location: Cloquet, Minnesota, United States

Casualties: 453

The Cloquet fire of 1918 is the worst natural disaster in Minnesota history to date, killing 453 and injuring over 50,000 more (the town's population was only 9,000). It also caused $73 million in damages. In 1918 especially, this was an astronomical sum. It turned the region into a desolate wasteland, shown above, that better resembles an ancient ruin than a city that was standing only days prior. Eventually, the fire was blamed on flying sparks from trains igniting dry grass and wood along its tracks.