Stephen J. Pyne Year of the Fires © 2001
page 212 :
“Thus began a tedious, often futile accounting of those injured and killed, an exercise that exposed the ramshackle process by which the men had been hired and shipped to the firelines. . . .
“ . . . In most instances the deceased left no identifying papers. Rumors, reported friendships, fragments of letters, telegrams thrust into pockets all provided clues. Newspapers across the nation printed the list of casualties, as the dead had recorded their names. Queries rushed in; counterqueries poured out. . . .
“Vika Polic of Hreljin, Croatia, claimed payment as a dependent relative of her husband, Frank (or Ivan) Polic. Initially, the claim was denied because Vika could not identify her husband with anyone who died. Later a saloonkeeper passed along word that other 'Austrians' had told him that the man had in fact died at Setzer Creek. Further investigation suggested he was the 'Polk' on the time cards and was among those whose bodies had been found but not identified. Although the evidence was 'circumstantial,' the Forest Service recommended payment of $200.”
- National Archives at
College Park, RG 95, Records of the Forest Service,
Division of Fire Control, General Correspondence – Claims -- Vika Polic