Crews battle several area fires, including large marsh fire
BRANDON - Brush fires ripped through our area Friday, wreaking havoc on Reeseville, Germantown, Elkhorn, Merton, Cedarburg, and Brandon.
Luckily, no one was injured in any of the fires. Still, damage was substantial.
The biggest fire was in Brandon, where 600 acres of marsh land burned. The bright flames and ominous black smoke could be seen from miles away. Heavy wind helped the fire spread fast.
In Cedarburg, drivers on I-43 were just feet from the flames. Investigators believe a spark from a passing train ignited that one.
A full garage was a casualty of another blaze in Grafton. Firefighters had their hands full because there were no fire hydrants close by.
"We had to shuttle water in tankers, then bring it here into our portable tanks, and dump it over from there," says Grafton Fire Department Lieutenant Wayne Merkle.
In Waukesha County, crews narrowly kept flames from destroying a home. A blanket of ash now surrounds the property.
In Germantown, a small part of the Rivers Bend Golf Club caught fire. That one was quickly extinguished.
"Fire conditions are ripe," says Ed Culhane with the Department of Natural Resources. "Right after the snow melts, the vegetation hasn't had time to green-up. You've got all that dead grass and dead wood. Fuel sources laying all over the ground."
The heavy winds we've been experiencing, make things especially dangerous. The DNR has issued a "high alert" for wildfires this weekend. That means everyone should avoid any outdoor burning until the area gets a decent amount of rain.