Over 180 personnel are now battling to enormous Sleeper Lakes Fire in Luce County, north of the village of Newberry. Today, light winds allowed good progress on several areas of the fire, with the addition of aircraft support.
A meeting was held this morning with residents along County Road 407, where winds are expected to nudge the fire tomorrow. Weather forecasts are calling for a sunny start to the day in the area, with clouds moving in from the south and the chance of light rain. The rain will be welcome but the southerly winds may pose difficulties for firefighters working to defend homes and other structures along County Road 407.
Size: 14,300 acres 8 miles long and 3.5 miles wide -- lines are holding with division improving & extending lines as possible while maintaining current lines. Containment achieved is undetermined at this time.
Location: Between County Road 407, M-123 and East Branch of the Two-Hearted River. Has Not crossed M-123.
Evacuation: M-123 is closed from 4-Mile Corner to County Road 500. Evacuation is from Widgeon Road south to Murphy Creek. This is a precautionary evacuation to avoid a more rushed evacuation in the event that the wind should change or pick-up. No structures are expected to be involved unless the wind picks up later in the afternoon.
Resources: 150 people (DNR, USFWS, Volunteer Fire Departments from Newberry, Columbus Twp, Portage Twp, and Garfield Twp, Hudson Twp, Hendricks Twp, Garfield Twp, local Red Cross Chapter and local keyman firefighters working for DNR. Air Support -Three Helicopters from Camp Grayling with 700 gallon water buckets. Two more helicopters are expected to arrive on Tuesday.
The CL 215 water bombers returned today from Minnesota to assist and will remain on the scene as long as they are not called back to Minnesota.
In addition, the Wisconsin DNR is sending in 6 tractor plows and pumpers and one tracked marsh vehicle, and a crew of 20 personnel.
The plan for Tuesday, as it stands at this time, is to continue to prepare the area along County Road 407 for possible fire impacts. No further evacuations or road closures are in effect at this time. However, plans are in place in the event further road closures become necessary.
Overnight humidity will damp down the fire somewhat, but until we get significant humidity we can only hold the line to the best of our ability.
Access to the evacuated areas remains prohibited.
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