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Governor to tour wildfire damage

Published On: May 15 2013 02:26:49 PM CDT   Updated On: May 16 2013 06:34:34 AM CDT

Officials said the Germann Road Fire is the largest forest fire in Wisconsin since 1980.

TOWN OF GORDON, Wis. -

On Wednesday evening, Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency for Bayfield and Douglas counties in northern Wisconsin due to a forest fire.

The forest fire, known as "The Germann Road Fire," is the largest in Wisconsin since the Oak Lake Fire that burned over 11,400 acres in Washburn County on April 22, 1980.

Walker will tour damage from the massive wildfire on Thursday.

Walker is expected to speak to reporters after visiting the area with natural resources, emergency management and other officials.

Earlier Wednesday, officials said residents and owners of vacation properties in northwestern Wisconsin will eventually be able to return to their properties, but only when the area is safe from wildfire.

Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Harter said he and other officials have been inundated with calls from people wondering about the conditions of their houses.

At least 60 people have evacuated their homes and 47 structures were destroyed, including 17 homes.

Property owners interested in updates on the status of their properties can call 715-376-4185.

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