Today in History: Great Porcupine Fire, 1911

Blog Post created by jrodowicz Employee on Jul 11, 2017

During the early 1900's Northern Ontario was busy and full of miners, trappers, loggers, and engineers. Many were attracted to Porcupine Lake because of the recent gold rush further south. On July 11, 1911, a brush fire started in South Porcupine, Ontario and spread for 22 miles (36 km).


Refugees using boats to escape the Great Porcupine Fire, July 11, 1911

Refugees embarking in a boat on Porcupine Lake to escape from the Great Forest Fire of 1911.

(Porcupine District, Ontario, Canada - July 11, 1911) Image Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada


From an article printed in Toronto's The Globe on July 12, 1911:


A great disaster has befallen the north country as a result of the terrible heat and lack of rain. The whole country is burning up with bush fires everywhere. They have been in progress for a week, and reached a climax today, licking up in their path everything before them. Fanned by a terrible gale of wind, te flames swooped down on the villages and mining camps, and the loss of property will run into enormous figures, while the death toll must be great, as Porcupine district, where the fire is at its worst, contains thousands of prospectors, whose camps are scattered over a wide area of country heavily timbered.



For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Library


The NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic.

Library staff are available to answer reference questions from members and the general public.