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Highlights Archives

Thirty-three Years Later the Story is Told


A modified graphic taken from the book's cover

A new Wisconsin Historical Society Press book tells the harrowing tale of the Five Mile Tower Fire of 1977. Ignited by a single match on April 30, 1977, the fire raged out of control for 17 hours. It would be one of the largest wildfires in Wisconsin history, ultimately destroying more than 13,000 acres of land and 63 buildings. More than 900 citizens of Minong and surrounding communities came in the first four hours to help. Headquarters personnel worked valiantly to coordinate citizens and DNR workers in a buildup of people and equipment unprecedented in the history of Wisconsin firefighting.

A Firsthand Account of the Fire

Based on his own experiences during the long battle, plus dozens of interviews and other eyewitness accounts, author Bill Matthias presents an in-depth look at the Five Mile Tower Fire, the brave citizens who helped fight it, and the important changes made to firefighting laws and procedures in its aftermath. So passionate is the author about making this story known and remembered that he and a network of friends, relatives and acquaintances raised more than $33,000 toward the book's publication.

Author's Book Discussion Events in Northern Wisconsin

:: Posted April 26, 2010

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