BAYFIELD/DOUGLAS COUNTIES (WITI) -- Governor Scott Walker surveyed damage from “The Germann Road Fire” on Thursday, May 16th -- that destroyed over 8,100 acres in Bayfield and Douglas Counties. Governor Walker declared a state of emergency last evening and directed state agencies to make services available to residents whose property has been destroyed or damaged as a result of the forest fire.
“The damage we’ve seen today is widespread, and many families have lost their homes or other property,” Governor Walker said. “To the victims of this fire, I want you to know that the State of Wisconsin stands with you, and I am directing our state agencies to do everything they can to help you recover and rebuild during this difficult time. I thank our first responders and all those involved in the coordinated effort to contain this fire.”
Governor Walker surveyed the damage today with the Wisconsin National Guard and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Governor also met with first responders and local officials at a command post at the Gordon Fire Hall in Douglas County.
Governor Walker is directing state agencies to help residents in the following ways:
Thus far, 47 structures have been lost, including 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. 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.
The fire’s cause has been confirmed by law enforcement officials. The fire started from a logging crew harvesting timber on industrial timber lands. A logging equipment operator noticed smoke coming from below the cutting head of the machine while harvesting timber.
For additional information regarding The Germann Road Fire, please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/GermannRoadFire.html.