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UPDATED: DNR Suppressing 400-Acre Wildfire In Waushara County

Update: As of 9:00 p.m., the Pallet Fire is now an estimated 400 acres and roughly 99% contained.

COLOMA, Wis. – 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire crews and local agencies are on the scene of the roughly 400-acre Pallet Fire in Waushara County, southeast of Coloma. The fire is now 99% contained.

Previous reports stated the fire was a larger size; however, after aerial review, more accurate mapping indicated the fire is roughly 400 acres. Lines along the fire perimeter are holding; there are still reports of unburned fuel burning inside the perimeter.

Local law enforcement and emergency management officials completed a few evacuations in the area and will continue as needed. A few structures were reported lost.

Officials say the Pallet Fire travelled northeast and burned in pine and mixed hardwoods along Cumberland Avenue and north of Hwy 21. Fire officials on scene indicated erratic fire behavior due to gusty winds and drought conditions along with reports of torching and fire moving into the crowns of the trees. Several spot fires occurred ahead of the fire and were suppressed and monitored. The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.

DNR fire suppression resources are on the scene, including 13 DNR engines, 16 heavy units (dozers with engines) and 1 air attack plane. Several local fire departments are also assisting with suppression efforts and providing structure protection. A Wisconsin Operating Engineers training facility nearby has also provided several resources to assist with suppression efforts.

The Northeast District Incident Management Team has been activated, and the command post has been set up at the Coloma Fire Department. Waushara County emergency management, along with local law enforcement agencies and several other fire departments, are also on scene.

Today’s weather conditions resulted in elevated fire danger ahead of a developing storm front. Contributing factors include warm temperatures, low relative humidity, gusty winds and dry vegetation due to extended drought. Eleven other wildfires occurred today in DNR protection areas and have subsequently been suppressed. 

For the most current fire situation and evacuation information, follow the DNR on Facebook and Twitter, or check current fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website.