Madison – (NEWS RELEASE) - Governor Scott Walker has issued Executive Order #103 declaring a state of emergency in response to a forest fire, which has destroyed more than 9,000 acres in Bayfield and Douglas Counties.
"Tonette and I send our prayers and concern to the people who have lost property and those who have been evacuated because of this forest fire," Governor Walker said. "As we continue to closely monitor the situation, I want to thank our first responders, the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for their work battling this forest fire. I also would like to thank the States of Minnesota and Michigan, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Province of Ontario for their assistance."
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, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. 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 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has established a telephone hotline. Residents who believe their property may be potentially impacted by the forest fire are urged to call (715) 376-4185. This number will connect residents to Incident Command, where staff are prepared to update them. Residents wishing to visit their property must be escorted, and these site visits can be arranged by calling the hotline.
Governor Walker plans to tour the affected area and visit with first responders and local officials tomorrow at the Gordon Fire Hall with Adjutant General Donald Dunbar, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, and Wisconsin Emergency Management officials. For additional information regarding The Germann Road Fire, please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/GermannRoadFire.html.