The Great Fires of 1947 destroyed a total area of 175,000 acres (780 kmē) of wooded land in Maine. This disaster is an important part of the local history of the York County and Mount Desert Island areas. After a wet spring, in which the months of April, May and June were inundated with rainy weather, the climate turned to drought condition in mid July 1947. By the end of September, the ground was extremely dry. State and local officials, recognizing the dangers of the dry conditions, began implementing preventative measures such as informing the public to have their chimneys cleaned. By the second week of October, the state was in a Class 4 state of danger, meaning: "high state of inflammability." Fire watch towers, normally closed at the end of September, were reopened by the State Forest Service. By October 19, many communities in Maine breathed air filled with a smoky haze and the smell of burning wood. Reports of small fires in woods began coming in to the Forest Service on October 7. These early fires burned in Portland, Bowdoin and Wells. Being 30 miles apart from each other, these three fires illustrated the danger. After this, reports of fires poured in, and by October 16, 20 separate fires were burning in the state. The Fire of 1947 DVD links several shorter films from the period, by both amateur and professional photographers, to gain a larger picture of this major disaster.
Total DVD time : 70 minutes