Out of the Flames
Fires and Firefighting on the Canadian PrairiesBook - 1998
The sight of prairie fires sweeping across the horizon struck fear in the hearts of ranchers, settlers, miners, and town folk in the developing West. Whether fought with wet burlap sacks and hastily ploughed fireguards, bucket brigades, or increasingly sophisticated equipment of early firehalls, prairie fires were a daunting enemy that blazed through the history of the Canadian West.
Sometimes naturally occurring, but more often the result of the rapid changes brought by steam engines and settlements, these fires had the power to decimate huge tracts of land, changing the environment, endangering countless lives, and drastically altering the architectural face of towns and cities.
Filled with archival photographs, Out of the Flames examines the dramatic impact fire had on the settlement of the West and the heroic and tragic stories that arose from smoldering ashes. Faye Reineberg Holt combines personal stories, the history of fire-fighting techniques, urban disasters, fires in mines, oil wells, and slag heaps, fire folklore, and legend in this fascinating account of prairie fires.