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The Great Fire of 1922: The Haileybury Fire
Haileybury Heritage Museum
Haileybury , Ontario

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   The summer of 1922 was
unusually hot and dry in
northern Ontario, so hot and
dry that worried fire rangers
asked the government for
permission to stay on for the
approaching "burning" season,
when farmers were allowed to
clear land with small brush
fires. Bureaucrats, however,

denied the request and on
September 12th, all fire
rangers left the area around
Lake Temiskaming.
   With burning permits now
unnecessary, settlers were
quick to take advantage and
farmers began to set the
small fires needed to improve
their land.

   On October 4th, gentle
fall breezes unexpectedly
turned into hurricane-force
winds. The small fires,
burning on ground dried out
from summer heat, soon merged
into an inferno.
   In Haileybury, citizens
paid little attention to the
smoke, at first no different

than the smoke that drifted
into town every year during
burning season. When the
flames approached the town,
however, people panicked. In
the thick, black smoke,
families had difficulty
finding each other. A clerk
at the telegraph office wired
to North Bay, "Haileybury is

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