Fire intensity minimizes in the evening, which allows firefighters the opportunity to increase containment lines. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR
BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire crews and local agencies are on the scene of a 3,168-acre wildfire in Monroe County, with 109 acres outside of Fort McCoy boundaries. The fire is 60% contained.
Previous communications indicated the fire was in Jackson County. Updated information and mapping show the fire is in Monroe County near the Jackson County border.
Fire evacuations have occurred for Arcadia Ave. between Smothers Rd., Millston Rd. and Abbey Ave. to Blueberry Rd., including Archer Rd. and Arrowhead Rd. Hard closure of Arcadia Ave. from Smothers Rd. to Blueberry Rd.
An evacuation center is now located at the LUNDA Center, 405 State Hwy 54, Black River Falls, WI. Some evacuations were rescinded last night due to fire intensity minimizing in the evening.
No injuries have been reported. Three structures were damaged and one shed lost.
A thorough investigation is being conducted on the cause of the wildfire. The team consists of personnel and wildland fire investigators who are trained to look at specific indicators at the origin of the fire. These investigations can take time. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
The fire is burning in oak and jack pine. The fire behavior remained active overnight and firefighter crews are making progress by using engines and dozers to build containment lines. Crews worked overnight to secure and build new containment lines.
The steep and uneven topography makes it difficult for direct attack on some parts of the fire line. Safety is a main concern for ground crews, with a focus on equipment navigating steep slopes and unimproved roads and personnel staying aware of burning and falling hazard trees on the fire line.
The DNR Forestry Incident Management Team has been activated and, under a unified command partnership with Fort McCoy, has set up the command post at the Black River Falls DNR service center.
State patrol is monitoring smoke on the interstate and will shut it down again if visibility or fire conditions warrant it. Visit the 511 webpage for interstate closure information.
The line is holding on the Jack Pine Fire in Juneau County. Resources will continue to patrol and monitor the Jack Pine Fire. Evacuations were lifted Thursday evening.
This is the third day in a row parts of the state are under a Red Flag Warning, which is rare for western Wisconsin. Today’s weather conditions continue to elevate fire danger, with wind from the SW/SSW at 5-15 mph gusting up to 25 mph and a low relative humidity around 25%.
Campfires, ashes from fireplaces, outdoor grills, smoking, chainsaws, off-road vehicles or other small engines have the potential to throw a spark, ignite a fire and spread quickly. Please use extreme caution and avoid burning until conditions improve.
For the most current fire situation and evacuation information, follow the DNR on Facebook and Twitter, or check current fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website.
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