MENOMONEE FALLS — Officials say the brush fire that raged in rural Menomonee Falls Friday evening is now under control, and residents can return to their homes.
The Menomonee Falls Fire Department gave the OK for residents to return to about 10 homes that had been evacuated. Village President Dave Glasgow tells TMJ4 News that "Our fire department advises everything is now under control."
The brush fire burned for hours along Marcy, Pilgrim and Lannon roads in Menomonee Falls, leading to a massive response from area fire departments and causing concern for residents with homes nearby.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a warning earlier in the day of a "very high fire danger" heading into the Easter Sunday weekend. That warning became a reality for this community.
Menomonee Falls increased the wildfire to a MABAS box-alarm level 5. Twenty agencies including the DNR assisted in fighting the flames.
The DNR says the fire burned through at least 450 acres. No injuries or structure fires have been reported.
Information from last press briefing:
Capt. Gene Jene Neyhart with the Village of Menomonee Falls Police Department held a press briefing earlier on Friday.
Neyhart said reports of fires emerged around 1:30 p.m. Friday near Pilgrim and Lannon roads. He said crews managed to extinguish the large fires but hot spots continue to emerge. Those hotspots became large lines of flames later that evening.
Fire approaching Pilgrim and Good Hope, still close to homes pic.twitter.com/Yh6lL4ujqD— Stephanie Haines (@TMJ4Stephanie) April 2, 2021
Fire continues to move north in the field, still very close to homes in the Tamarack and Fox Meadow intersection pic.twitter.com/G3mq5HDx2k— Stephanie Haines (@TMJ4Stephanie) April 2, 2021
Twenty different agencies responded to the fire, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The fires were in an area dominated by swamp and dry brush, Neyhart said. It remained a fluid situation.
'Very high' fire danger in Wisconsin this weekend, DNR warns
All of Wisconsin is under a "very high fire danger" heading into the Easter Sunday weekend, the state Department of Natural Resources warned in an urgent statement Friday.
All burning remains suspended. That includes DNR-issued burning permits for debris piles, barrels and grass or wooded areas across the DNR Protection Area.
The combination of low humidity and high winds in the forecast has DNR officials expecting a high risk of fires. "Any fire could quickly start and spread in these conditions," according to officials Friday.
The DNR is also urging residents to avoid all outdoor burning, including limiting the use of campfires and making sure to extinguish and dispose of cigarettes properly.
Outdoor enthusiasts should also use caution when using vehicles or equipment that could create a spark and start a fire.
The DNR reports over 200 wildfires have burned 450 acres or 182 hectares so far this year.
If you spot a brush fire in your area, officials urge you to call 911 right away.