BARNES, Wis. –This afternoon a wildfire was reported southwest of the Township of Barnes in Douglas County and is reported to have burned 3,500 acres and several structures and is still growing.
The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.
No injuries have been reported.
Evacuations are underway near Loon Lake, Sand Lake and Murray Lake.
Several seasonal homeowners reside in the area and more structures are threatened.
Several DNR units have arrived on scene and several more have been ordered.
Units include 7 DNR tractor plows, 2 heavy dozers, 2 air attack planes and 4 single engine air tankers (2 from Wisconsin and 2 from Minnesota) are aggressively working the fire.
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.
The fire is traveling northeast and is burning in pine and mixed hardwoods.
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%.
At this time, it is too early to predict when fire fighters will have the wildfire under control.
Cooler temperatures and an increase in humidity 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.
PHOTO courtesy: Jeremy Rydberg