Wisconsin Crews Still Assisting On Western Fires

Aug 4, 2014

Two Wisconsin fire crews are returning home from helping battle the Carlton Complex blaze in Washington state.  But two other crews are still stationed out west. 

The Carlton Complex blaze burned over a quarter million acres in Washington state; meanwhile other fires rage throughout the Northwest.
Credit Suzanne Flory / Submitted photo

Jim Grant in Rhinelander is Forest Fire Management Officer for the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest and the Ottawa National Forest.

He says the 20-person crews are made up of personnel from a variety of state and federal agencies, like the Forest Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs.   

“These crews are actually on the fire line, actually putting in fire line itself with hand tools.  Sometimes they’re right at where the heat is, and they’re fighting the battle of trying to get a containment line around the fire.” 

One crew left on Friday to help fight fires in Oregon.  Another left earlier, headed to Idaho.  Grant explains there are a few different roles crews can serve. 

“The crew in Idaho, right now they’re working on a lot of initial attack or smaller fires.  That’s what they what they went out there for – but it can change day to day, depending on the needs again.”

Grant says overall fire activity is about average compared to other years, but there’s still a long way to go before the end of fire season.