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Suspected lightning strike sets tree, grass on fire near Picnic Point

Firefighters were called to a hiking path just west of Picnic Point Thursday for a large tree...
Firefighters were called to a hiking path just west of Picnic Point Thursday for a large tree on fire after a suspected lightning strike the night before.(City of Madison fire department)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 3:40 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison firefighters extinguished a fire near Picnic Point Thursday afternoon, which officials suspect was caused by a lightning strike.

A caller reported to the Madison Fire Department that a piece of bark from a tree along the 2400 block of Lake Mendota Drive fell to the ground and started a grass fire at the bottom of the tree, according to the agency.

Firefighters arrived just before 12:50 p.m. Thursday to a hiking path just west of Picnic Point, noting a lightning strike, which they believe happened during Wednesday night’s storms, is suspected of being the cause of the flames on the tree.

Crews described the tree as “smoldering” when they arrived. They proceeded to call in an engine truck, brush truck and Lake Rescue Team boat for assistance.

The rescue boat was able to put out the fire and then the engine crew confirmed the fire was fully extinguished.

Firefighters were called to a hiking path just west of Picnic Point Thursday for a large tree...
Firefighters were called to a hiking path just west of Picnic Point Thursday for a large tree on fire after a suspected lightning strike the night before.(City of Madison Fire Department)

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