By Terry Kovarik
The rash of wildfires in western states and the so-called “firenados” generated by them bears many similarities to the deadly 1871 firestorms that struck Peshtigo and Door County. Green Bay Metro Fire Fighter David Siegel, who wrote a book on changes in firefighting strategies before and after the firestorms, says under similar drought conditions heavily forested areas in Wisconsin can be vulnerable to such fires. But in Door County and most of Northeast Wisconsin the risk is much lower.
Siegel says the firestorms of 1871 were studied by the U.S. military during World War II. Where similar conditions existed in Europe and Japan at that time, bombing missions were timed to generate fire storms.