Fire Crews Leave Rhinelander For Montana Blazes

Jul 12, 2017


A 20-person crew gathered Wednesday morning at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office in Rhinelander before heading out west to help with large fires ravaging the region.

Forest Service spokesperson Hilary Markin details how the interagency crew is composed...

"....we have a 20-person Wisconsin interagency crew that is headed to Jordan, Montana. Ten of the folks are from the Forest Service, two from the Fish and Wildlife Service, five from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and three Wisconsin DNR folks that are headed west. They will be heading to the Lelig fire which is under the Bureau of Land Management control right now. It started July 10 at 200 acres and currently is about 2,280 acres. They believed the fire jumped overnight and it's a large grass fire they are being asked to control....."

One of the firefighters is Jake Pedersen of Oak Creek who works for the U.S. Forest Service out of Laona. He talks about what the crew will be doing....

"....a lot of it, I think, is putting in handline...basically digging down to the mineral soil and trying to prevent the fire from moving further than where it has gone. That is our main duty, control the fire and eventually put it out....."

Six fires in Montana alone cover 30,000 acres, with several other fires in California, Arizona, Colorado and other states. Lightning is the main cause.