100 Acre Fire Scorches Salkum

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While the fire at a chicken farm in Onalaska is under control and residents have been allowed to return home, officials are asking for only locals to be in the area.

All roads previously closed near the 200 block of Gore Road have been reopened, Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza said, but minimizing traffic will allow fire crews and locals to get around more easily. 

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Dusty Breen said the 110-acre fire is believed to have originated from a tractor and a brush hog mower operating at the location at about 2:11 p.m.

Breen said the fire grew quickly and destroyed several outbuildings as well as a Lewis County Fire District 8-Salkum fire truck valued at $350,000. No residential structures were damaged, and no one was injured.

Residents that had been evacuated were allowed back at about 8 p.m., after the fire was controlled.

Crews remained on scene overnight.

Firefighters will be on scene today mopping up, and monitoring hot spots and securing lines, Department of Natural Resources Public Information Officer Doreen Smith said Thursday morning.

Firefighters were dispatched to reports of a brush fire threatening a 10,000-gallon propane tank, said Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Dave Germain.

“We were worried of a massive explosion,” he said. “The firefighters were able to attack it and get it controlled.”

Smith said the propane tank is no longer considered a threat.

Smith did not have an estimate on the fire’s containment Thursday morning.

Further investigation into the nature of the fire is continuing.

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