North Wisconsin Fire Biggest in 33 Years

It's burned through 8.7K acres

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2013 12:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Firefighters have contained 90% of a wildfire in northwest Wisconsin, which has burned through 8,700 acres and 47 structures, including 17 houses. It's the biggest wildfire in northern Wisconsin in 33 years, WEAU reports. At least 60 people evacuated their homes last night, with 22 staying overnight in the local high school, the AP reports. "At 8:30[pm] there was too much fire so we just ran," says one local, who lost his outhouse but not his actual house, the Duluth News Tribune reports. "I have no idea why this didn't burn; I don't know if someone was here fighting the fire or not because we just got out of here."

Another evacuee shares his story: "We thought the fire was going to go north of us, but when the wind switched it came at us so fast we had to run. I grabbed my guns, my mother-in-law and my wife—in that order—and we got out." Still no word on cause, but the News Tribune does share one "cruel twist of fate": A large swath of the area hit by the fire was buried in snow just 12 days ago. But without much spring greening and no recent rain, last year's leaves and grasses remained particularly susceptible to fire.

A home is on fire along Sutfin Road east of Comminsky Road in Highland Township, Wis., east of Solon Springs, Wis., late Tuesday, May 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin)
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday, May 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin)
A wildfire actively burns through the forest along Sutfin Road east of Duck Pond Road in Highland Township, Wis., east of Solon Springs, Wis., late Tuesday, May 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin)
A structure burns along Sutfin Road east of Comminsky Road in Highland Township, Wis., east of Solon Springs, Wis., late Tuesday, May 14, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin)
This May 14, 2013, photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows a smoky wildfire in northwestern Wisconsin that has consumed 8,700 acres.   (AP Photo/Wisconsoin Department of Natural Resources)
This May 14, 2013, photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows a smoky wildfire in northwestern Wisconsin that has consumed 8,700 acres.   (AP Photo/Wisconsoin Department of Natural Resources)
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