Environment
4:14 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Wisconsin Wildfire Update: Logging Equipment Sparked Blaze

Fire crews have contained the huge wildfire in northwest Wisconsin, and are now extinguishing hot spots that erupt. According to the DNR, 8,131 acres burned.

Burning in the Town of Gordon
Burning in the Town of Gordon
Credit DNR

Investigators have concluded that a logging machine started the blaze.  Workers were harvesting timber, when the operator of a piece of equipment noticed smoke coming from the cutting head of his machine. He used an extinguisher to try to douse the fire, while co-workers called 911.

The Douglas County District Attorney is recommending that no criminal charges be filed.

All residents who were evacuated have been allowed to return to their homes and businesses. The fire destroyed 47 buildings, including 17 homes. No one was injured.

Roads in the area have reopened and power restored, while burning bans remain in effect.

The forecast calls for lighter winds, but conditions in the northwest remain dry.