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The Fire of 1947: The Year Maine Burned

Wind-whipped flames destroy several summer homes at Cape Porpoise, Maine, as a forest fire in the Kennebunkport area raged unchecked on October 22, 1947.
Associated Press

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Sat., October 17 at 2:00 pm

The Great Fire of 1947 was actually a series of more than 200 forest fires in Maine that destroyed thousands of acres and entire towns. This is a compilation of films and videos put together by Northeast Historic Film include extraordinary silent footage, a Universal Newsreel and others of this tragic, historical event.

This disaster is an important part of the local history of York, Oxford, and Hancock counties. Whether you refer to it as "The Bar Harbor Fire," "The Brownfield Fire," "The Kennebunkport Fire" or something else, it was a devastating disaster that forever changed many communities and the very landscape of the State.

The film is a compilation from: October Fury 1947; Maine's Forest Fire Disasters; A Look Back at the Infamous Fires 50 years Later; Then it Happened plus a silent film produced by the University of Maine Forestry Department; footage of the fire at Brownfield shot by a professional photographer H.L. Utley; the home movies Bar Harbor summer resident Dr. Ernest G. Stillman; and a Universal newsreel.

Film and video sources include: Department of Conservation, Maine Forest Service, Fire Control Division, Lawrence Dolby Collection, Richard Hale Collection, Dan Noel, White Mountain Collection and Ernest G. Stillman Collection.

The Fire of 1947: The Year Maine Burned is distributed by Northeast Historic Film.