Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

Fires of 1918

Using the Archives during COVID-19

The UMD Archives is currently closed, but we can answer questions by email and phone, and provide a limited number of scans of requested research materials. Please let us know if you are a current UMD student, staff, or faculty member who needs archival materials for a class or work related project as we will prioritize those requests. 

During June 2021, the UMD Archives will be unable to respond to most research requests because the staff will be focusing on a collections maintenance project. We are sorry for the inconvenience to researchers and look forward to working with you again soon. 

Questions? Contact us at or 218-726-8526.

Please contribute to the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project.

The Fires of 1918

Fires of 1918 survivors walking through burnt out building (Black & White )In the first weeks of October of 1918, two fires ignited by sparks from trains began near Cloquet and Moose Lake. On October 12 and 13, these fires grew quickly, and tore through the Cloquet, Moose Lake, and Duluth area, virtually obliterating thirty-eight communities and 1,500 square miles. More than 450 people were killed outright, 52,000 more were injured or displaced, and property valued at upwards of $73 million was destroyed. The fire has been called the worst natural disaster in Minnesota history.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Fires of 1918. Use this guide to find historic resources on the fires and learn about events planned to commemorate this disaster.

Image: Cloquet and Moose Lake Fire of 1918. Full record:


Learn More

Contact Us:


Phone: (218) 726-8526

Location: Kathryn A. Martin Library
Library Annex 202 (see map)