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DNR: Wildfire 90% contained; evacuations ordered in Northwest Wisconsin

Douglas County Wildfire (courtesy of the Wisconsin DNR).
Douglas County Wildfire (courtesy of the Wisconsin DNR).

SOLON SPRINGS, WI (WTAQ) - The number of acres burned in a smoky wildfire in northwest Wisconsin grew to 8,700 by mid-morning.

The DNR said the blaze was 90 percent contained, as fire crews stopped the vast majority of the flames from spreading.

They warn, however, that windy conditions could re-ignite the fire in a number of spots Wednesday afternoon.

Officials said 47 structures have been destroyed, including 17 homes in a wooded area southeast of Solon Springs in Douglas County.

No injuries have been reported to either residents or firefighters, in what’s being called the largest forest fire in northern Wisconsin in 33 years.

Crews from the U.S. Forest Service joined about 15 local fire departments in battling the wildfire, along with state crews from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Firefighters were able to save 77 structures. People from Barnes in Bayfield County were evacuated, along with lakeshore homeowners in several locations. 60 evacuees registered at Drummond High School, and 22 stayed there overnight.

The DNR said the blaze was first discovered near the town of Barnes Tuesday. The cause was not known.

Water bombers from Ontario Canada are expected to join the firefighting effort Wednesday, along with water-dropping choppers from the Wisconsin National Guard. The Red Cross sent an emergency vehicle to the region Wednesday morning

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