idaho mineshaft where Pulaski herded dozens who would survive fireThe summer of 1910 in Idaho was a crackling-dry, hot powder keg of rampant forest fires. The U.S. Forest Service was scrambling to stay ahead of them.

But scrambling gave way to panic, when western gales pushed dozens of fires into one huge self-feeding furnace.

The death toll would have been far higher if it weren’t for Edward Pulaski, who had recently joined the Forest Service. Pulaski had roamed the forests and knew their nooks and crannies — and his familiarity with the mountain trails, particularly a 230-foot mine shaft — saved the lives of a large crew, as well as his own, from horrible deaths. Even if he did have to save several at gunpoint.

Right: USFS Archival photo shows ranger Will Morris looking in the mine portal where Edward Pulaski led a crew to survive the inferno.

(READ the story in the Oregonian)

Leave a Reply