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Fire started with logging equipment, determined accidental-no negligence

Wildfire.  Photo courtesy Wisconsin DNR
Wildfire. Photo courtesy Wisconsin DNR

GORDON, WI (WSAU) -  Investigators now know the cause of this week’s big wildfire in northwestern Wisconsin.  Department of Natural Resources officials determined that the Germann Road Fire was caused by equipment associated with logging operations.

DNR spokesman Gary Bibow says the fire started on industrial timber lands, when a machine operator noticed smoke coming from below the cutting head of the harvesting machine. Bibow says the operator got out of the machine and made a concerted effort to extinguish the fire using a fire extinguisher kept in the operator’s cab.

The investigation showed no negligence and no intentional setting of any fire. That’s why the DNR is recommending no criminal charges be filed against the logging contractor.

DNR officials already met with the Douglas County District Attorney to discuss the investigation. Neither office has disclosed the name of the logging company involved.