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Wildfires in Wisconsin lead to state of emergency declaration

The Wisconsin DNR and additional crews are battling a 2,800-acre wildfire in Jackson County, which is 48% contained as of Thursday morning.

WISCONSIN, USA — The WI DNR said the agency has responded to nearly 80 wildfires in the past week, including 21 fires on Wednesday, April 12 that burned more than 2,500 acres. 

Crews from the DNR fire and additional departments are currently battling a 2,800-acre wildfire in Jackson County, Wisconsin, which is 48% contained as of Thursday morning. The fire, called the Arcadia fire, began at the north end of Fort McCoy and prompted some voluntary evacuations, the Wisconsin DNR said.

The cause of the fire, which damaged at least three structures and destroyed one shed, is still under investigation.

According to 511WI.gov, US 12 is closed from County O to County EW near Fort McCoy.

Fire crews also worked a 100-acre fire in Juneau County Wednesday that resulted in the mobilization of a DNR incident management team. 

The DNR said that blaze began in the Township of Necedah and destroyed multiple structures, prompting multiple evacuations before it was contained around 7:30 p.m. 

Much of Wisconsin is under an "extreme" fire danger warning Thursday as warm temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds create prime conditions for potentially "catastrophic" fires.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued the warning for the southern two-thirds of the state, covering the following counties: Adams, Buffalo, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Washington, Winnebago and Wood.

Because of the extremely dangerous wildfire conditions, Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order declaring a State of Emergency Wednesday, which authorizes rapid support from the Wisconsin National Guard and Black Hawk helicopters to take down fires.

Fire conditions are also elevated in Minnesota Thursday. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for central, southwest and southeast Minnesota. Residents in the following counties should not burn anything due to the high risk that a fire could spread:

Red Flag from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m.

Anoka, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Cottonwood, Dakota, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Jackson, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Nobles, Ramsey, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Waseca, Washington, and Watonwan Counties

Red Flag from 12 p.m. through 8 p.m.

Dodge, Filmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, and Winona Counties.

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