The Valley of Fear

why did the police call the vermissa valley fires like a hell in scene 1

its written in the playscript that flames from the furnances leaping up like the fires of hell please do explain it well

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They could hear the roar of the fire and everything was dark in the daylight because of the smoke and ash.

“I guess hell must look something like that,” said a voice. McMurdo turned and saw that one of the policemen had shifted in his seat and was staring out into the fiery waste. “For that matter,” said the other policeman, “I allow that hell must be something like that. If there are worse devils down yonder than some we could name, it’s more than I’d expect. I guess you are new to this part, young man?” “Well, what if I am?”

The officers called it hell because it was full of crimes and murders.