Burn pile turns into grassfire in Thomastown Township

Wadena County remains in high fire danger. Burning is restricted without a variance permit.


A resident's burn pile turned into a grass fire Sunday, May 16, in Thomastown Township. The day saw high temperatures in the upper 70s, with very dry and windy conditions.

The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a grass fire in section 18 of Thomastown Township at 12:46 p.m., Sunday. Upon arrival, it appeared a large section of grass to the north of the residence was actively burning including a large pile of railroad ties, according to a Wadena County Sheriff's Office news release. The Verndale Fire Department was on scene with Staples Fire Department and MN DNR Fire shortly behind for mutual aid.

Verndale Fire Department personnel located the property owner who was sitting on his riding lawn mower and appeared to have been suffering from smoke inhalation along with complaints of difficulty breathing. Shortly thereafter, Lakewood EMS arrived on scene and treated the property owner.

Law enforcement was advised by the Verndale Fire Department that the property owner mentioned that he started a small burn pile that had gotten out of control. Fire departments battled the fire for approximately two hours before it was extinguished.

The property owner was transported to Lakewood Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The property owner was also issued a citation for illegal burning.


Assisting on scene was the Verndale Fire Department, Staples Fire Department, MN DNR Fire and Lakewood Ambulance.

Wadena County remains in a high fire danger with no burning allowed without a variance permit. The danger likely persists through Wednesday of this week. Showers are expected later on Wednesday.

What To Read Next
Get Local