We stumped everyone this week.
The Meadow Creek Fire is the answer for Week 119 of Orofino History Trivia, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
A.B. Curtis in his book, White Pines and Fire, writes about two particular fires in August of 1949. One is the Camp 59 or Meadow Creek Fire. It began Aug. 7, 1949. There were two woods operations going on simultaneously. Carney Pole was making cedar poles and Potlatch Forest, Inc. had a logging operation. Curtis said with the two operations, there was lots of slash. The fire started really fast with so much dry fuel. Fortunately, there also two crews on hand with 8-10 bulldozers building roads and cats skidding.
Curtis said he believed, after first seeing the fire from the scouting airplane, that it was incendiary of origin. He said they were fortunate that it burned really hot and fast and there was not much wind. The crews were able to get around and put out spot fires rapidly. With the equipment, they were able to get a line around it the first day of operations. Though it burned only 111 acres, there were major losses in cedar poles and decked logs.
The second fire at Camp 60 started Aug. 27, 1949, which lead some to believe that the arsonist was a numerologist. At the time they felt it was someone on the crews, but were never able to find enough evidence to make an arrest or do anything.
Join in the discovery!
Monday: Burned 111 acres
Wednesday: Carney Cedar poles
Thursday: Potlatch Forest Inc. (PFI) decked logs
Friday: Wind was calm
Saturday: August 1949
Monday: Camp 59
Monday: Burned very hot and was over fast
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