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© 1978, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


For thousands of years prairie fires were a common occurrence in the great plains region of North America. Along with wind, rain, snow, and sunshine, fire was a major ecological force. Long before the white man's influence became a factor Nebraska's prairie land had been shaped, even perpetuated by this ever present force. The following incidents are true life accounts of prairie fires as experienced by homesteaders and settlers around the turn of the century. No attempt has been made to change the grammar or the content of these stories. The words you read are those used by the contributors.