On Wednesday at 5:22 p.m., the Lincoln County 911 Communication Center dispatched the Merrill Fire Department and Wisconsin DNR for the report of a grass fire at W7209 Joe Snow Rd., Merrill. The grass fire did spread and started a small barn on fire. The initial response to the scene included Engine 62, Tender 65 and Medic 62. While enroute to the fire, mutual aid was requested with an engine and tender from Corning Fire Department and a tender from Pine River Fire Department. Upon arrival the command was assumed and the first-in report included a grass fire moving east across old pasture land and a fully involved structure. Command also requested a mutual aid response from Tomahawk EMS for an ambulance to standby.
Command ordered the first arriving engine company to deploy two lines in an aggressive attack with pre-connected hose lines. The DNR took the south flank of the grass fire while MFD took the north flank where they worked together putting out fire as they worked towards the head of the fire to pinch it off and extinguish it. The second line was used to protect an adjacent structure and also extinguish the barn.
Companies extinguished the fire and checked for any hot spots. Traffic control was provided by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. Information was gathered and the MFD, along with the DNR, conducted a cause and origin investigation. There were no reported injuries to the citizens or firefighters.
The owners were home and they tried to burn out the inside of a silo foundation when the owner went into the house for something. When he got back outside, the brush pile next to the silo foundation had started on fire. The owner went back to get a fire extinguisher and returned to find his barn on fire.
According to information from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the barn was complete loss and some damage occurred to a nearby garage. No injuries were reported and the small barn was not housing any animals.
Remember to check burning conditions before you burn a brush pile or burn in a barrel. You can check the fire conditions and burning restrictions by calling 1-888-WIS BURN (947-2876) or on the internet at dnr.wi.gov/wisburn after 11 a.m.