Barnes Residents Use Aftermath Of Fire To Help Neighbors

By KBJR News 1

June 2, 2013 Updated Jun 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM CDT

Barnes, WI (NNCNOW.com)
It seems like every time there's a feast, retired Air Guardsman Steven Vanderburg is there pulling barbeque duty.

"I did a lot of this at the base. It wasn't my job but when a retirement party came along or some type of party organization when the generals came, I became the go to guy." said Vanderburg

On Sunday, Vanderburg was the guy you'd go to for stuffed peppers and pulled pork.
Instead of roasting generals, he was toasting his friends and neighbors in Barnes, Wisconsin.
Last month, the Germann Road Wildland fire burned thousands of acres of forest and several homes.
Not even firefighters were immune from the flames.

"We lost our home. I was only two homes over fighting fire and saving structures." said Captain Deanna Glinski of the Barnes Volunteer Fire Department.

This cook out with a cause at the Decoy Inn was intended to raise money for people who lost everything and to say thank you to the firefighters who kept things from getting worse.

"We were evacuated and they saved our place and did an absolutely wonderful job!" said Carol Dewitt who owns the Decoy Inn.

June Thielen was rescued from the fire by a Wisconsin Conservation Warden.
Now, she's become a fire warden with the Fire Wise program.
She teaches her neighbors that trees should be cleared in a one hundred foot perimeter around forest homes.

"That gives the fire fighters a chance to come in between your home and the trees and you at least have a chance they're going to save your home." said Thielen.

"Just as nature is knitting the forest back together, the folks of Barnes feel that events like this will knit their community back together, too." said reporter Dave Anderson.

"People have opened up their wallets and pockets and we see a lot of generosity going on here." said Steven Vanderburg.

In Barnes, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

The people of Barnes would like to thank all 47 fire fighting agencies that came to fight the Germann Road fire.