Lynn F. Cronemiller oral history recording on the 1933 Tillamook Fire


Lynn F. Cronemiller oral history recording on the 1933 Tillamook Fire


An audio recording of an interview with Lynn 'Crony' Cronemiller, State Forester at the time of the 1933 Tillamook fire and Public Relations officer the State Forestry department during the subsequent fires that made up the ‘Big Burn’. Interview conducted at Cronemiller's home in Salem. Cronemiller was at the Tillamook fires the first day they ignited to the last day they were distinguished. He temporarily moved his headquarters from Salem to Forest Grove during the first fire, running his rigs from there. The former State Forester discusses the different placement of camps and crews to control the burn, including civilians that joined the effort and crews from the State of Washington, which were concentrated on the East side. There were a few instances when they thought they had the fire knocked down only for it to come back alive. Many lives were lost from smoke inhalations, burns, and being crushed by falling trees. They had a plane and a helicopter to view the fire birdseye and also used scouts for tracking. They had a radio between Tillamook and Forest Grove, but it wasn’t always effective so the scouts often had to find the nearest phone to report their findings. In general, the firefighters had very limited resources and relied mainly on hand tools. Cronemiller later became the Manager of revitalization efforts for the Tillamook Forest after the burn, the initial planning of which taking place in 1945. Cronemiller recounts the origins of the fires, remembering the logging companies being told to cease production due to weather concerns but some companies continuing work. He believe this is what started the first fire, but Ellis Lucia points out this is a contentious subject. They briefly discuss the politics of the restoration efforts for the burn area and the current wages of workers on the project.


Cronemiller, Lynn

Is Part Of

Ellis Lucia papers


Forests and forestry
Washington County (Or.) -- History


Washington County (Or.)
Forest Grove (Or.)


1 sound cassette (59 min.)






In Copyright


Pacific University Archives


Lucia, Ellis