The New Richmond Fire & Rescue Department responded to seven incidents between Friday, May 10 and Sunday, May 12, including a pair of grass fires, a possible structure fire and a pair of crashes, according to NR Fire Chief James VanderWyst

Grass fires

At 12:31 p.m. on Friday, May 10, the department responded to a grass fire at 914 County Road H in the Town of Star Prairie. The owner had started a brush fire earlier and decided that it was too windy and extinguished the fire. The fire was discovered and 911 was called. While units were responding, another call came in about a possible fire at Monette Avenue apartments, so the department requested Somerset Fire to respond to the grass fire and re-routed all responding trucks, except one brush truck. The brush truck arrived on the scene, along with the Somerset units, and extinguished the grass fire and hot spots and the perimeter of the area burned, VanderWyst said.

The department was called back to 914 County Road H at 5:30 p.m., when the grass fire rekindled. VanderWyst said the department requested assistance from Somerset Fire for a large grass fire in the field behind the address. Firefighters extinguished the fast-moving grass fire and contained it to the original property; no important buildings were threatened or involved, VanderWyst said.

The second grass fire occurred at 2:52 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at 2158 126th St. in the Town of Star Prairie. Firefighters arrived on the scene and extinguished a small grass fire behind the residence, VanderWyst said. The occupant /owner, according to VanderWyst, had been burning lawn debris when the wind caused the nearby grass to burn. Firefighters extinguished the flames and then cleared the scene.

Structure fires

The department got the call for a possible structure fire at the 669 Monette Ave. apartments at 12:42 p.m. on Friday, May 10. While all available firefighters were responding to a grass fire, several units were diverted to this incident. Not knowing the size of fire, VanderWyst requested dispatch to page a MABAS Box Alarm for resources. Once firefighters arrived on the scene, investigated and found no fire, the MABAS call was cancelled. According the VanderWyst, the occupants had a stove fire the night before and did not let the manager know. Firefighters checked for any hidden fires with a thermal imager and, finding none, referred the incident to NRPD.


Fire and rescue responded to a three-vehicle traffic crash at the intersection of highways 64 and 65, at 1:28 p.m. on Friday, May 10. The responding firefighters assisted NR EMS, while also providing fire, traffic and environmental protection, VanderWyst said. Once the vehicles were removed from the scene, the units cleared the scene.

The department also responded to a two-vehicle crash at 7:18 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at the intersection of county roads C and CC, where one vehicle ran from the scene. Units arrived on the scene and provided fire, traffic and environmental protection. Additionally, the other vehicle was located at an address on County Road H, VanderWyst said, which prompted the department to send an engine to the location to verify that the vehicle wasn't on fire or leaking fluids.