Wisconsin wildfire burns for third day; Walker declares state of emergency
Jaclyn Brandt, Melissa McCrady and Jay Sorgi
DOUGLAS COUNTY - Firefighters are taking their third day to try and put out a wildfire that has destroyed more than 9,000 acres in Bayfield and Douglas Counties.
The Wisconsin National Guard has been called in to help stop the fire from spreading.
As of 5:00 a.m. Thursday, the fire was fully contained.
However, shifting winds could be a problem and it could be days before crews extinguish the fire.
Governor Scott Walker will tour affected areas Thursday. He has issued declared a state of emergency in response to the wildfire.
“Tonette and I send our prayers and concern to the people who have lost property and those who have been evacuated because of this forest fire,” Gov. Walker said.
“As we continue to closely monitor the situation, I want to thank our first responders, the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for their work battling this forest fire. I also would like to thank the States of Minnesota and Michigan, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Province of Ontario for their assistance.”
Forty-seven structures have been lost so far, according to the governor.
This includes 17 homes, 15 garages, 9 outbuildings, and 6 others.
Firefighters from 37 fire departments have saved 77 structures, including 42 homes.
No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Two helicopters with large buckets flew 60 trips over lakes to pick up 35,000 gallons of water and drop it on hot spots.
The forest fire, known as “The Germann Road Fire,” is the largest in Wisconsin since the Oak Lake Fire that burned over 11,400 acres in Washburn County on April 22, 1980.
People can check on their homes in the area through a new hotline: 715-376-4185.