Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Out-of-control fire extinguished near Saxon Harbor

SAXON, Wis. - Volunteer firefighters were roused from their beds around 3 a.m. on Wednesday to respond to a fire in Saxon Harbor, Saxon-Gurney Fire Department Chief Stacy Ofstad told the Daily Globe on Wednesday.

Thanks to their rapid response, Ofstad said the fire was extinguished around 7:30 a.m. and there were no injuries.

The fire was contained to a beach on the east side of Oronto Creek, Ofstad said. The fire destroyed some driftwood on the beach, but Ofstad said that mother nature helped prevent further damage through a south wind that carried the flames into Lake Superior.

Because there were no roads providing easy access to the beach, the firefighters had to spray water from a high-pressure hose on the opposite side of the creek when they first arrived on site. Ofstad said that rangers from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources soon arrived with a bulldozer and cleared a path to the fire.

Ofstad said the fire started in a fire pit that was left unattended. He said that the cause is still under investigation by the Iron County Sheriff Department, Wisconsin DNR and himself as of Wednesday afternoon.

The emergency responders included about 15 firefighters from the Saxon-Gurney Volunteer Fire Department and Town of Kimball and Bad River fire departments as well as six or seven rangers from the DNR office in Mercer, Ofstad said.