Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

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The Porcupine Fire

The Porcupine Fire

Photo by contributor Brian Bockus - Posted June, 2017

The Porcupine Fire

Photo by contributor Brian Bockus - Posted June, 2017

Plaque Location

The District of Cochrane
The City of Timmins
In Porcupine, at the White Waterfront Conservation Area
at the shore, beyond the eastern end of Shamrock Avenue
Note: The plaque was at another location when the first photo was taken in 2005.

Coordinates: N 48 28.757 W 81 12.199


Plaque Text

In the summer of 1911, when the Porcupine gold rush was at its height the weather was hot and dry. On July 11, gale-force winds from the southwest whipped individual bush fires into a 16 km sea of flames that swiftly engulfed the drought-parched forest. The fire-storm swept through mining camps, razed the towns of South Porcupine and Pottsville, and partially destroyed Golden City (Porcupine) and Porquis Junction. Many people fled into Porcupine Lake to escape the flames. The blaze laid waste to about 200,000 hectares of forest and killed at least seventy-one people. Communities throughout Ontario responded generously with aid, and in a remarkably short time the towns were rebuilt and the mines back in operation.

Related Ontario plaques
Great Fire of 1916
The Great Fire of 1922

Related Toronto plaques
Great Fire of 1849
Great Toronto Fire



Timmins Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted February 22, 2014
My Father, the late W.G. 'Bill' Smith, long time Councillor in the former Township of Tisdale and a long time Manager of the former Marshall-Eccelstone's Hardware Store in South Porcupine was a survivor of the great 1911 Fire. My Dad after retirement moved to Chatham, Ontario and died in Chatham at the age of 85. He is buried in the Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham, along with his wife, my Mother Margaret Smith.
Donald Smith, Chatham thesmiths54@teksavvy.com

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