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In New York, massive wild fires rage across Long Island for days destroying farms, homes, and animals

Fire and Earthquake Disasters, iconic image
05/09/1862 to 05/12/1862
A farmer near Smithtown in Suffolk County named Joel Smith was clearing land when his fires were caught in heavy winds and spread across the entire area in the worse conflagration seen on Long Island in decades.  Fine weather had dried woodland and the fire spread with remarkable speed, burning farms, farm animals, and homes while also threatening track and trains on the Long Island railroad lines.  The fires burned uninterrupted for more than four days and caused more that $500,000 in damage.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
"Terrible Fire on Long Island: Over Sixty Thousand Square Acres of Wood Burned," New York Herald,  May 13, 1862, p. 10.