By Brad Courtney

Like the modern day “big one,” when the San Andreas Fault finally makes that dreaded big slip and wreaks its long-predicted devastation, a fire of frightening magnitude was not a question of “if” but “when” in young nineteenth-century Prescott.

  

In April 1888, a Prescott Courier editorial described the unrelenting danger: “The people of Prescott can look back and thank the gods that fire has not ‘devoured’ a great deal of their property. We now tell our people that the hot, dry season which may last until next July is upon us; that there will be windy days and nights when, should a fire get a good start, it would be hard to check.” So it was that hot, dry night of July 14, 1900.

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