firefighter

Suzanne Flory / Submitted photo

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. 

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.   

Suzanne Flory/Submitted photo

Crews from northern Wisconsin are helping battle the largest wildfire in Washington state’s history.

More than 3000 people have been called in from around the country to combat the Carlton Complex, ablaze that started in mid-July. 

Rhinelander resident Suzanne Flory from the U.S. Forest Service is wrapping up a two-week stint at the fire site, serving as a liaison and helping with communication between incident commanders and local government. 

Natalie Jablonski

Firefighters are lining the streets of an intersection in Rhinelander.  For the sixth year in a row they’re asking for donations to support kids with muscular dystrophy.

On the corner of North Stevens Street and Highway W, firefighters in yellow safety vests are holding big rubber boots full of money.  Rhinelander Fire Lieutenant Aaron Swaney says it’s a unique way to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Public safety workers got a chance to test their emergency preparedness in a mock exercise today at the Rhinelander Airport.  Crews simulated a response to an airplane engine catching fire while taxiing.

On the airport tarmac, a test plane is lit on fire several times, so different fire crews can practice putting it out.  During the course of the exercise, emergency response teams arrive, make sure the scene is safe, and practice tending to possible victims.  Rhinelander Assistant Fire Chief Tom Waydick says it’s an important chance to practice working with other emergency crews.

B Garrett

Three Lakes plans to pay its fire chief starting next year - at least a small amount.  

An outgoing volunteer fire chief went before the town board this week to request that future fire chiefs get a small stipend to cover travel and other incidental costs.  Town Chair Stella Westfall says the budget committee still has to decide how much that stipend will be.