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20+ Local, State Agencies Fighting Wis. Fire

Updated: 05/15/2013 8:28 PM
Created: 05/15/2013 8:01 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

According to the Wisconsin DNR, the 9,000-acre blaze crossing southern Douglas and Bayfield counties started at a logging operation near Germann Road in the Town of Gordon. The blaze is being called the Germann Road Fire.

DNR officials say the fire is now 95% contained. Since the fire started Tuesday afternoon around 4 p.m., crews battling the blaze haven't quit.

"A lot of what I did last night was guide bulldozers to where to put the mineral fire break, we were in the woods," said forester ranger, Michael O'Mara, with the DNR.

The Wisconsin DNR is heading up operations at their command center at the Gordon Fire Hall.

"Most of the land is owned by timber companies or by private individuals," said incident commander, Larry Glodoski.

Glodoski said 47 structures burned, and 17 of those structures were houses or cabins. Glodoski added crews saved 77 structures from the flames Tuesday night. No injuries have been reported.

Tuesday evening, the fire moved from southern Douglas County in to Bayfield County. DNR officials said the fire has since slowed considerably, but they're still cautious.

"The problem is there are a lot of interior areas that are still burning and hot, and with this warm weather it rekindles the fire," said O'Mara.

More than 250 men and women from 20 local and state agencies are fighting to keep "hot spots" under control.

"We certainly can't do it alone," said Glodoski. "We rely on our volunteer fire departments from surrounding communities and counties."

Reinforcements came as for as Canada. Two planes called "water bombers" were dispatched from Ontario. Glodoski said they scoop water up from area lakes and can drop more than 1,000 gallons at a time.

As of Wednesday, DNR officials had 95% of the fire maintained and said they would have it fully contained by late evening. Full control is anticipated over the next few days.

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