N. Wisconsin's Largest Fire in 33 Years: Germann Road Fire Photo Gallery

By KBJR News 1

May 14, 2013 Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM CST

Barnes, WI (NNCNOW.com) - The communities of Barnes and Gordon, WI are picking up the pieces after the Germann Road Fire burned 8,131 acres and destroyed almost 50 structures last week.

DNR law enforcement officials have confirmed that the fire was caused by equipment associated with logging operations ob Tuesday, May 14th. A logging crew, running a Timberjack 840 feller/buncher, was harvesting timber on industrial timber lands owned by Lyme St. Croix Forest Company LLC.

A logging worker was conducting routine timber harvesting operations when he saw smoke and tried to extinguish the flames while a co-worker called 911. The Wisconsin DNR was on site in under 10 minutes.

The flames spread quickly due to very high fire danger across Northern Wisconsin. Residents in the Barnes and Gordon areas were evacuated as the blaze grew. Residents near Loon Lake, Sand Lake and Murray Lake were all evacuated to the Drummond High School Tuesday night due to the blaze. 59 evacuees registered at the high school.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency for Bayfield and Douglas Counties and toured the burned out areas of the Germann Road Fire on Wednesday/

47 structures were lost in the flames, 17 of which were homes, 15 garages, 9 outbuildings and 6 other types of structures. Firefighters focused many of their efforts on saving as many structures as possible. Crews saved 77 structures, including 42 homes from being destroyed.

Fire fighters were able to contained 100% of the blaze by Wednesday evening and began their mop up efforts and suppression of hot spots within the fire line.

With all the rain in the past few days across Wisconsin and Minnesota, the fire danger is now considered to be low.

Red Cross and state emergency management officials have set up a hotline to help those who lost their homes in the fire. That number is (715) 376-4185.

Officials say after a thorough investigation of the fire, no negligence was involved and there was no intentional setting of the fire to the land. The DNR, after consultation with the Douglas County District Attorney, is recommending no criminal charges be filed.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns