Updated: Wildfire burns in southeast Douglas County, Bayfield CountyA wildfire was reported southwest of Barnes in Douglas County and is reported to have burned 3,500 acres and several structures, and is still growing, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. So far, not injuries have been reported.
A wildfire was reported southwest of Barnes in Douglas County and is reported to have burned 3,500 acres and several structures, and is still growing, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
So far, not injuries have been reported.
Evacuations are underway near Loon Lake, Sand Lake and Murray Lake. Several seasonal homeowners reside in the area and structures are threatened.
Several DNR units are on scene and several more have been ordered. Units include seven DNR tractor plows, two heavy dozers, two air attack planes and four single engine air tankers — two from Wisconsin and two from from Minnesota — all of which are aggressively attacking the blaze. Four local fire departments and two USDA Forest Service engines are also assisting with suppression efforts. Sixteen more DNR tractor plows are en route. The Northwest District incident management team has been activated and the command post is at the DNR Barnes Ranger Station.
Douglas County and Bayfield County Emergency Management are also on scene assisting the incident.
The fire is roughly six miles long and about a mile wide at the widest point, traveling northeast and is burning in pine and mixed hardwoods, according to DNR spokesman Bill Cosh.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, U.S. Highway 27 at County Highway A near Solon Springs is closed because of the blaze. The closure was extended to County Road S in Douglas County shortly before 9 p.m. All lanes are blocked.
Today’s weather conditions resulted in high fire danger with DNR suspending outdoor burning in the area. Contributing factors include warm temperatures, low relative humidity and very windy conditions.
Winds at this hour are at 9 mph with gusts up to 24 mph, and the temperature is 87 degrees with relative humidity at 23 percent. At this time, it is too early to predict when firefighters will have the wildfire under control.
Cooler temperatures and an increase in humidity are expected overnight. However, a shift in winds out of the northwest and similar conditions to today could create challenges with firefighting tactics if the fire continues into tomorrow.
Bayfield and Douglas County emergency management were ordering evacuations in the town of Barnes are areas west of County Highway A and north of County Highway N about 9 p.m.