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Homes evacuated as fire crews battle multiple brush fires in Menomonee Falls


Multiple brush fires began burning at about 1:30 p.m. Friday in Menomonee Falls.The fire started along Marcy Road, just north of Silver Spring Drive near the railroad tracks. By Friday night, it was covering 400 acres.Officers at the scene said sparks from a train crossing railroad tracks cause multiple fires.Crews worked to put out the flames that stretched from the Frito Lay factory all the way to Sussex.The Department of Natural Resources said it is assisting local fire departments with the response and encourages people to avoid Marcy Road area.Menomonee Falls Police Department and the village president, Dave Glasgow, confirmed Friday night that some houses were evacuated out of an abundance of caution. Police gave the all clear around 9:00 p.m. for homeowners to return to their houses.Glasgow said virtually every fire department in southeast Wisconsin responded to the marsh fire. Crews worked to put out hot spots until at least 7:30 p.m. The wind continued to push the flames to different parts of the marsh. Authorities used drones and a plane flying overhead to keep track of the fire’s path. “There’s some huge houses over there and all that’s separating them from the swamp is a path,” said Linda Weitzer, who lived on one side of the marsh. “They don’t have the advantage of a little bit of water here like we do, so I’d be really scared if I was in those houses over there.””Hopefully it stops pretty soon, it’s getting a little out of hand,” said Randy Heth, a homeowner who was checking on his neighbor’s house that was close to the flames. When asked if he was confident that crews could keep the homes protected he replied, “I don’t know.”Firefighters also had to navigate around a surge of vehicles, as curious onlookers drove in from miles around to see the flames. Dozens of vehicles drove through and parked on the side of the roadways.By the end of the night, most of the marshland had burned. The DNR confirmed 450 acres of marsh burned, which is the largest brush fire in Wisconsin so far this year. No houses were damaged, but one deer stand burned down. Homeowners and fire crews worked to spray down a few at-risk homes as well. Crews used tracked vehicles to get water into the marsh, because those vehicles were the only ones that could drive over that type of terrain. WeatherWatch 12 Chief Meteorologist Mark Baden said the weather conditions are perfect for the these fires: dry and windy. He said their could be more fires over the weekend.Wildlife like Canada geese and sandhill cranes could be seen fleeing the flames. Baden said marsh itself will likely thrive from this burn and the wildlife will return.

Multiple brush fires began burning at about 1:30 p.m. Friday in Menomonee Falls.

The fire started along Marcy Road, just north of Silver Spring Drive near the railroad tracks. By Friday night, it was covering 400 acres.

Officers at the scene said sparks from a train crossing railroad tracks cause multiple fires.

Crews worked to put out the flames that stretched from the Frito Lay factory all the way to Sussex.

The Department of Natural Resources said it is assisting local fire departments with the response and encourages people to avoid Marcy Road area.

Menomonee Falls Police Department and the village president, Dave Glasgow, confirmed Friday night that some houses were evacuated out of an abundance of caution. Police gave the all clear around 9:00 p.m. for homeowners to return to their houses.

Glasgow said virtually every fire department in southeast Wisconsin responded to the marsh fire. Crews worked to put out hot spots until at least 7:30 p.m.

The wind continued to push the flames to different parts of the marsh. Authorities used drones and a plane flying overhead to keep track of the fire’s path.

“There’s some huge houses over there and all that’s separating them from the swamp is a path,” said Linda Weitzer, who lived on one side of the marsh. “They don’t have the advantage of a little bit of water here like we do, so I’d be really scared if I was in those houses over there.”

“Hopefully it stops pretty soon, it’s getting a little out of hand,” said Randy Heth, a homeowner who was checking on his neighbor’s house that was close to the flames. When asked if he was confident that crews could keep the homes protected he replied, “I don’t know.”

Firefighters also had to navigate around a surge of vehicles, as curious onlookers drove in from miles around to see the flames. Dozens of vehicles drove through and parked on the side of the roadways.

By the end of the night, most of the marshland had burned. The DNR confirmed 450 acres of marsh burned, which is the largest brush fire in Wisconsin so far this year.

No houses were damaged, but one deer stand burned down. Homeowners and fire crews worked to spray down a few at-risk homes as well.

Crews used tracked vehicles to get water into the marsh, because those vehicles were the only ones that could drive over that type of terrain.

WeatherWatch 12 Chief Meteorologist Mark Baden said the weather conditions are perfect for the these fires: dry and windy. He said their could be more fires over the weekend.

Wildlife like Canada geese and sandhill cranes could be seen fleeing the flames. Baden said marsh itself will likely thrive from this burn and the wildlife will return.

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