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The speaker is a 62-year-old White man with a grade school education from Grand Marais, Minnesota; he was recorded in 1968.

County: Cook
State: MN

Grand Marais, located in the northeastern tip of Minnesota on Lake Superior, only a few miles from Canada, is in a scenic area with many outdoor recreational opportunities. Today it has a population of around 1,300. The speaker relates his experiences with something well-known to the Northwoods native, the forest fire.
FW: Were you ever, uh did you ever fight any forest fires?

Inf: Oh, yeah. I've been in the-, I've been in several of 'em. Yeah. The first one I got into was 1917 when I was seventeen years old. And uh, forest fire went right over the house, in my home, you know. At that time I was only seventeen years old, and we stayed right there and I, I was down in the crick bottom where the crick went through the farmstead and I was there with the water pail so nothing would burn up. And mother and dad was up on the hill carrying water to try to save the, the two-room house. That, that was 1917.

FW: Was that a bad fire or-

Inf: Oh, yes. It went from uh, it went from west of Grand Marais to way- 'round about twelve miles east of Grand Marais. It all went in one forenoon and early afternoon.

FW: Oh, went fast then.

Inf: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It uh, it was really uh, a fire that, anybody, uh was a-, were able to see it, would ever-never realize what a forest fire would be. Because uh you've gotta be in a one to, to realize what a fire will do because in balsam an' spruce with the pitch, uh coming to a heat point where gas heats, and ignites a head, that's where the-, you have, you know it keeps on going so fast you have no control over it.

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