Whether you live in Canada or not, if you follow the news at all you have heard about the serious wildfires that raged throughout Alberta. In fact, these fires even spread across the border and into Saskatchewan. While it might seem like there is no end in sight to this tragedy, it is important to remember that the world has endured other serious fires in the past. In fact, history is filled with all variety of natural disaster, so while it might be hard for locals to look towards the future, her are some historical examples to keep in mind.
Back in 1871, Chicago was not nearly the city it was today, but when a devastating fire struck, that did not mean there was any shortage of damage. Presumably caused by an improperly discarded cigarette in a barn, the fire slowly spread out and took down 17,000 buildings, ultimately leaving 90,000 people homeless. Sadly, about 300 people died during this fire and but many believe it paved the way for the modern metropolis that rose from the literal ashes.
While it is hard to judge just how much damage was done during this large fire, most records of the event do show a fortunately low death toll of only about six people. Despite the low death toll, the raging flames were certainly not welcome at the time, but in hindsight it might have been truly beneficial. After all, the fire raged through a plague-stricken part of the city, allowing them to rebuild anew. You can be sure those who lost their homes and businesses didn’t feel this way at the time.
Going even further back in history, this is the infamous fire that you might have heard was started by the ruler Nero. While there is some doubt among historians as to whether or not he was really responsible, the one thing that is known from historical accounts is that a good many districts were destroyed by the fire. Of course, even with their limited technology they were able to rebuild anew.
Moving to more modern times (relatively), this is another fire that you might be familiar with. Initially, the fire was caused by a great earthquake that hit the city, but due to absolutely horrible execution on the part of emergency workers, it is believed that as much as half or more of the damage was actually caused by human error. The damage was pretty extensive too, with 490 blocks burned, 25,000 buildings destroyed, and 3,000 deaths counted. While it certainly was a tragic event, over 100 years later the city is still doing just fine.
In addition to those above, the world has seen its fair share of major fires throughout history. London, for example, actually burned more than just once. New York is another major city that has burned twice while Moscow actually went up in flames at least four times. Remember, as horrible as it might be, fire often results in new life down the road.