MADISON (Press Release) - The Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Special Notice with regards to the large forest fire that occurred in eastern Douglas County and western Bayfield County yesterday.
According to state fire officials, the "Germann Road Fire" is approximately 8,700 acres in size and has destroyed 47 buildings. However, thanks to the hard work of many DNR and local fire control personnel, as of today the fire is 90 percent contained. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported from the fire.
There are no air monitoring sites near the fire. Consequently, there are no air quality data available with which to gauge the health impacts of the fire. Furthermore, an air quality advisory has not been issued due to the lack of air quality data.
Nevertheless, local residents are advised to be aware of the possibility of air quality problems downwind of the fire. Individuals should monitor their symptoms and consult a physician if they have concerns. In healthy people, symptoms of smoke exposure usually include irritation of eyes, nose and throat, or breathing discomfort. More severe symptoms may include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. Smoke exposure can aggravate chronic lung or cardiovascular disease.
The DNR will issue updates to this Air Quality Special Notice as changes to the fire status warrant. Visit the DNR's web site for more information on air quality notices.