WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Grassfires Burn Family Farmland

By: Sarah Stokes
By: Sarah Stokes

The Department of Natural Resources issued a red flag warning Tuesday for 11 counties, 9 of which are in Western Wisconsin..
There was good reason to do that, as Tuesday evening, about 50 acres caught fire in northeast Pepin County.
Fire Departments from Dunn, Pepin and Eau Claire counties helped work the blaze that broke out mid-afternoon near the three county lines along Hemlock road.

What was a yellowish haze turned into a black cloud that burned up marshland on the Odegard family farm.
Truck after truck pulled in to work the fire... The Rock Falls department called in mutual aid early on.
Dave Weitz with the DNR says "the goal is to bring enoug people in to keep the fire small."

The DNR brought in bulldozers, firefighters and an airplane to help manage the grassfire, Weitz "it's there to convey information to people on the ground."

Some of those people on the ground, were the landowners. Donna Odegard and her two brothers own property in the heart of the fire. She says the flames came within 30 feet of her house, but the biggest loss was her brother's cattle trailer. She said she's grateful for firefighters who worked so hard to save the farm she grew up on. Dave Weitz with the d-n-r wants everyone to take note of what can happen, "these are the worst fire conditions we get and the fire can spread very readily." There's still no word on the cause of the fire.


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