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Cloquet, Minnesota, Fire (1918)

  • By: Stephen T. Schroth
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

In October 1918, a massive fire devastated large swaths of northern Minnesota. Centered in western Carlton County, the fire was especially ruinous to the municipalities of Cloquet, Kettle River, and Moose Lake. The 1918 Cloquet fire was the most destructive natural disaster ever to hit Minnesota in terms of lives lost, as over 453 people died as a result of the catastrophe and an additional 52,000 persons were injured or displaced. The fire was also very damaging to property interests, obliterating 38 communities, burning over 250,000 acres of forest and other land, and causing nearly $75 million worth of damage. In response to the Cloquet fire, over $13 million of federal assistance was provided to assist with the recovery.

Carlton County is located in northeast Minnesota, ...

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