Residents look for answers after Fort McCoy wildfire
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After burning for nearly three days and destroying over 3,000 acres of land, residents around Fort McCoy are now asking why Army officials went ahead with prescribed burns during a Red Flag warning Wednesday.
Amy Zebro, a resident who lives near the northwest side of Fort McCoy, said the fire has created frustration across the community.
“It’s a Red Flag warning, nobody should be burning anything ever,” Zebro said. “It takes so much of everybody’s life away from you if you burn and it gets out of control.”
Zebro grew up on a farm near Fort McCoy and has lived in the area her entire life. She said this isn’t the first time she’s seen the base create a disturbance.
“Having this happen too is just another, ‘eh we’re the military, we can do what we want,’ and it’s not fair,” Zebro said.
Zebro said she had several friends who had to evacuate their homes due to the fire. After partially lifting evacuations orders late Friday morning, the rest were rescinded a couple hours later. The people who live in the affected regions are allowed to return to their homes, according to DNR officials.
“They’re devastated,” Zebro said. “They have no idea if they’re gonna come to their home. Your whole world is turned upside down. You don’t get a chance to rebuild because nothing’s there again and you just try to start over.”
Looking for accountability, Zebro hopes Fort McCoy will provide assistance to her friends and others who have been impacted.
“I hope, in the end, the government owns up to what they did wrong and helps these people who have suffered and makes it right,” Zebro said.
The wildfire from Wednesday has been 99% contained according to DNR officials.
Another fire broke out near the south post of Fort McCoy Friday. Officials say that fire has been extinguished.
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