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The fire claimed many victims outside of Peshtigo. In the areas of hardwood forest to the west and south known as the "Sugar Bushes," many homesteads were ravaged and upwards of 200 people perished. This illustration shows how some families attempted to escape the flames by taking refuge under wet blankets in open fields, away from the burning timberland. For farmers with larger, plowed fields this strategy was sometimes successful. Others were not so lucky. Many who were not burned by the flames suffocated instead—the huge, intense fire consumed all available oxygen.

Peshtigo Fire victims in the Sugar Bushes

This image courtesy of the Wisconsin Electronic Reader, a cooperative digital imaging project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Materials from this project may be copied freely by individuals or libraries for personal use, research, teaching (including distribution to classes), or any "fair use" as defined by copyright laws. Anyone interested in any other use of this material is expected to contact the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System for permission.

Cite as: Deana C. Hipke. The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871. <http://www.peshtigofire.info/>
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