What Was New York State’s Biggest Wildfire of All Time?
New York and many parts of the United States have experienced poor air quality and smoky, hazy skies from wildfires raging in Quebec and Nova Scotia. The Canadian fires have spread smoke hundreds of miles into the U.S., while blanketing the skies with a dull, murky-looking haze.
The fires have also given the Sun an intense reddish-orange glow.
But if we're talking about the worst fire of all time in the state of New York, what event comes to mind?
What Was New York State's Biggest Wildfire of All Time?
According to Wikipedia, New York's biggest wildfire was the Great Adirondack Fire of 1903, with the center of the blaze being in Lake Placid. It was initially ignited when a local farmer lost control of a fire he started, which was to burn old vegetation in a field before planting.
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The fire would go on for six weeks though June, and burned a total area over 600,000 acres. LocalWiki says one of the most astonishing and frightening factors was the speed in which it spread. The Lake Placid spread eight miles in just a little over two hours
Adirondack Experience says other areas around the Adirondacks affected that year included Schroon Lake, Lake George, Olmsteadville, Newcomb, Ausable Forks, Saranac Lake and Clintonville.
A number of other conditions lead up to the huge fire, including a 72-day-long drought, scarce rainfall, dried leaves, and vegetation. Weather played a big roll. Adirondack Alamack says that after April 17, no precipitation was measured around the Adirondacks which was followed by "unusually hot weather and frequent high winds".
Wikipedia says that the fires were also aided by sparks due to wood and coal-fueled team locomotives, and the poorly regulated logging industry of that time.
Adirondack Experience says that the fires were so intense that there were reports of cinders falling as far away as Albany, which is 150 miles south of Lake Placid.
LocalWiki says that while no human lives were lost during the fires, animal and birdlife sadly suffered heavily. Sources say the heat even affected the streams and many trout were killed by temperature rise and by ashes washed into the waterways.