Wisconsin won't prosecute loggers in huge wildfire
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 9:36 p.m.
MADISON, Wis. — Prosecutors announced on Thursday they won't file charges against loggers whose equipment apparently started an enormous wildfire in northwestern Wisconsin, concluding there was no criminal intent or negligence.
The fire began on Tuesday afternoon in the woods near Simms Lake in Douglas County, about 40 miles southeast of Duluth, Minn. It consumed 8,131 acres, destroyed 17 homes and forced dozens of people to evacuate before firefighters contained it late Wednesday evening. No injuries have been reported.
The state Department of Natural Resources released a statement Thursday saying logging equipment started the fire.
A logger was operating a large machine similar to an end loader with a circular saw that cuts groups of trees, DNR Fire Law Enforcement Specialist Gary Bibow said. The operator noticed smoke coming out from under the cutting head, jumped out of the cab and saw the grass under the machine was burning.
The operator nearly had extinguished the fire when it leaped 40 yards into the trees and raced out of control, Bibow said.
“He thought he had it out and it took off,” Bibow said. “It climbed into the top of the trees.”
Another member of the logger's crew immediately called 911, according to the DNR's statement.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Cannibal sandwiches’ of raw ground beef unsafe, CDC reports
- Georgia cops suspended for cussing out rowdy bus of schoolkids
- Budget plans remain in jeopardy
- Illinois overhauls its public pensions, cutting benefits for most workers, retirees
- Billboard showing U.S. soldier, Muslim woman splits observers
- Wash. woman tweets of crash death, finds out it’s husband
- Deep freeze in Midwest to last through weekend
- Bratton returns to lead New York City police force
- VA fears budget cuts will reverse drop in homelessness
- Cost, fear of taking time off have many patients pushing surgery to back burner
- Post-hospital care costs studied amid Medicare discrepancies