wildfire of all time claimed the lives of somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 people.The Peshtigo fire completely decimated a town of the same in Wisconsin, US.
Peshtigo had a population of around 1,700 prior. In 1883 US Congressman Ignatius L Donnelly first proposed the theory that the blaze, as well as the Great Chicago Fire which claimed around 300 lives on the same day, was caused by fragments of a comet smashing into Earth. READ MORE: 'Ancient alien UFO' tracked by conspiracy theorists was 'just a blanket' says NASASpecifically, Biela's Comet was said to be responsible for the deaths.In 1852 the comet fragmented in half and was never observed again.
However, the Earth crossed the path of its orbit at the start of the 1870s and mid 1880s, with the disintegrated pieces of the comet creating bright meteor showers.
The idea that these meteors were responsible for the Peshtigo fire was revived in Mel Waskin's 1985 book Mrs O'Leary's Comet, and analysed in a 2004 paper published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.Study author Robert M Wood wrote: "Witness reports from Chicago included statements that entire basements exploded with a blue flame and that red-hot sand came raining down. "In upstate Wisconsin near Green Bay, there were reports of 'fire balloons' about one meter in size falling from the sky that exploded with great heat when ignited, incinerating objects struck. "If fire balloons consisted of methane, one ton of methane would be the energy equivalent of 12 tons of TNT if stoichiometrically burned."There were also reports that the fire came directly from the sky, with a trembling of the earth – perhaps a symptom of a shockwave."However, experts have since discredited the theory.Read more on dailystar.co.uk