The blast of heat from a volcano can be fierce enough to cause damage thousands of miles away; the hungry flames of a fire can destroy whole forests. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain, as a result of fires destroyed 139,886 hectares of forest. This post explores some of the most explosive fire related natural disasters in recent history.
Considered the worst fire in American history in terms of lives lost, the Peshtigo Fire claimed 1,500 souls and destroyed 3.8 million acres.
The three-day fire only consumed 4 square miles, but that land happened to be in the middle of urban Chicago.
The damage left behind made the Great Chicago Fire famous as one of the worst fires ever to strike a city.
It is reported that during the struggle with the natural disaster killed two rescuers were poisoned by carbon monoxide.

In 2003 and 2005 the small country experienced fires so ravaging that collectively at least 10% of total forest land was lost – along with dozens of lives. The 2003 fire destroyed 350,000 hectares and was caused by hot winds and dry air (humidity has decreased in the region as global temperatures have risen). Though natives have historically managed forest fires to open up agricultural land, foreign investors, arsonists and other aggressive parties have encouraged intentional forest fires in Indonesia that have unfortunately escalated into uncontrollable blazes. At some intervals, fires caused such a reduction in air quality that residents living near burn areas were taking in the equivalent of 80 packs of cigarettes a day simply by breathing. 1997, 2006 and 2007 saw some of the worst fires on record, but the original 1982-1983 drought-driven fire was an unforgettable blaze marked as one of the worst fires of the 20th century. Wild fires are increasing in number and severity; here are a few of the most recent and dramatic blazes. In total, there were 3,893 forest fires, 24 of which were considered major, as the flames swept area of more than 500 hectares.

Yet not as many people know about the Peshtigo Fire, which occurred at the exact same time in Wisconsin (it lasted a few days longer than the fire in Chicago). Due to global warming, the threat of forest fire will jump some 20 to 30% in the coming decade in Australia. In 2005, the fires came back, destroying 300,000 more acres thanks to a prolonged drought in this once healthy, wooded region. But to put out the flames and prevent the wind heat wave, so that the fire was spreading to new areas and new.

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