(Madison, WI) -- After declaring a State of Emergency for Burnett, Douglas and Washburn Counties last month, Governor Walker and area lawmakers returned to Burnett County to check on the status of the on-going cleanup efforts. Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) praised the work of local governments, state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard on the cleanup.
“The damage in this area was extensive and area residents and local governments faced a huge challenge considering the cost and the scope of the cleanup,” said Harsdorf. “Everyone involved has done a great job of working together to repair the damage caused by the storms.”
A series of powerful summer storms downed trees in over 130,000 acres of Northwestern Wisconsin in July and August. Recovering after the storms required the assistance of the Wisconsin National Guard and the Department of Natural Resources to clear rights of way and clean up debris.
The storm damage not only affected the timber, but also access to the local ATV and snowmobile trails. Local officials also expressed concern over the impact on local roads due to the increase in timber harvest. There was also the possibility of disease and infestation in the fallen wood that posed potential problems for public and private property.
“The cleanup efforts have been outstanding, but the work is not finished yet,” said Harsdorf. “I am encouraged by the ongoing commitment of the state to assist in the cleanup.”
The Department of Natural Resources is the lead state agency in these assistance efforts. For more information about the cleanup efforts please call my office at 1-800-862-1092 or the DNR Call Center at 1-888-936-7463.