The worst fire in American history is considered to be the Peshtigo fire which took place in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It lasted nearly a week, beginning on October 8th and concluding on the 14th of 1871. It was responsible for the death of 1,500 people and the destruction of 3.8 million acres. Second in severity is the Great Chicago Fire which also began on October 8, 1871 and ended two days later on October 10. This was the largest urban fire in American history was was responsible for hundreds of deaths as well as the destruction of 73 miles and 17,500 buildings.
As comitar said, the worst fire in American history is often considered the Peshtigo fire. There are other fires in American history to consider however: the 1906 San Francisco fires following an earthquake (killed more than 3,000 people and caused $400,000,000 worth of damage in 1906 money terms), the 1949 Mann Gulch Wildfire which killed 13 people and was the first fire in which smoke jumpers died, and recently the 1994 South Canyon Fire in Colorado, which killed 14 wildland firefighters.
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