The Great Hinckley Fire, which occurred on September 1, 1894 in Minnesota, burned over 300 square miles, including the town of Hinckley. The estimated death toll was 418. The area had experienced a two-month drought with high temperatures, and small fires started in the pine forests in the area. Cut branches from logged trees provided ready fuel for the fires, which joined to create a firestorm. The fire completely destroyed the towns of Hinckley, Brook Park, and Mission Creek. Some people survived by climbing into wells, ponds, or the Grandstone River. Others were saved by trains that carried them away from the fire.
Photo: Hinckley, Minnesota after the 1894 fire