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More Northwoods crews head West as national fire problem growsSubmitted: 08/16/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - Wildfires out west grew by nearly 50 percent in the past week. The state of Wisconsin has sent more than 300 crew members to help this month alone.

We showed you a crew leaving Woodruff last week for California. Another crew left Woodruff this morning. The 20 person team will go to Montana to fight a fire that started two days ago.

The wildfire situation nationwide is classified on a scale of one to five. Right now the country is at a four.

But that will likely bump up to the highest rating, a five, this weekend. That means we've used 80% of our national resources to fight fires across the country.

"Eighty percent of resources is made up of various equipment from bulldozers to helicopters to personnel to engines," says Jim Grant, from the U.S. Forest Service.

States won't send out all the resources they have. Each state holds back the minimum resources it would need for its own fire threat level.

When the country reaches level five, the military might have to help.

"The activation of the military comes from the president ultimately. When they're activated, it could be any branch of the military, but typically we see the United States Army, and even the Marines a lot of times, involved in this. Before they're put on the fire lines they're given training courses. They're given the basic training courses they need to continue to be safe out there before we put them on the lines," says Grant.

Right now there are $15,000 firefighters on the ground in 14 states. They're battling 40 large fires. To even be considered a large fire, thousands of acres have to be burning.

The fire season could last through October.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/20/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Mild temperatures are expected for this weekend's World Championships Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Tonight we talk to the derby president to see how the warmer weather effects the event.

We'll show you how the Tomahawk Public Works Department determines when it would be required for residents to keep their water running in cold weather.

We'll take you to a Merrill restaurant that has a special menu for Inauguration Day.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

College Hockey:

UW-Eau Claire vs. UW-Stevens Point


Boys Basketball:

Lakeland vs. Rhinelander

Florence vs. Crandon

Assumption vs. Marathon

Mosinee vs. Tomahawk


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - County jails in Wisconsin need more corrections officers. Nicolet College will start a new program to train people who want those jobs. Nicolet will hold an open house early next week to inform prospective students about the training necessary to work in corrections.

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PARK FALLS - People in Park Falls can look forward to a summer of major road construction in the city's downtown. After it's done, they can look forward to a more appealing downtown layout.

But for several months, the work will literally split the city in two.

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods teacher is being recognized for connecting her students with the world. 

Linda Goldsworthy, a social studies teacher at Rhinelander High School, won the second annual Global Educator of the Year Award. 

She is the only teacher in the state to win the award.

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SUGAR CAMP - On Friday, we will officially call Donald Trump the President of the United States.

One Sugar Camp bar owner has been counting down the days on a sign outside his bar.

"We had people stopping by and taking pictures and coming in and giving me a thumbs up," says Gator's Landing owner, Frank Pirolo.

Pirolo has owned the bar for 12 years and has lived in the Northwoods for 18 years.

"People have been noticing my Obama countdown sign," Pirolo said. "I been doing that since there was 89 days to go. Haven't missed a day."

Pirolo is excited to see President Elect Donald Trump take office. He takes on a straightforwardness not unlike the man he voted for.

"I'm kind of outspoken," Pirolo said. "I've been kind of referred to as the Archie Bunker of Sugar Camp."

He also has a sign outside of his bar that advertises his burgers, but people likely flock to his bar because he's frank.

"I see something on the news that bothers me, I'll come up with a quip and maybe put it out there," Pirolo says.

But that doesn't discourage him.

"I see good things going to happen," Pirolo said. "A lot of people say he's arrogant. My wife and I for the first time in 44 years have agreed on a political person." 

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RHINELANDER - Rejection can be difficult for anyone to handle.

A Rhinelander woman faced rejection four times already. But Dawn Knudsen plans to try again a fifth time.

"I'm not going to give up in life," said Knudsen.

This is the fifth time she'll be auditioning for NBC's The Voice. The reality show is a singing competition with celebrity judges

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Northwoods Transit Connections gave more than 2,000 rides to people last month. 

That's a big jump for the Oneida and Vilas county bus service.

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