Units responding to report of combine on fire in Salem; large field on fire

From just east of 236th Avenue.

At 3 p.m., Salem Fire/Rescue units and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a combine on fire in a wheat field in the 23000 block of Highway 50 (75th Street), just east of Paddock Lake.

UPDATE 3 p.m. — Deputy on scene says field is actually on fire, not combine. May be as large as a couple of acres.

UPDATE 3:02 p.m. — Mutual aid being called for from Silver Lake and the Wilmot station for additional grass rigs.

UPDATE 3:41 p.m. — Box alarm being called. Randall, Bristol, Silver Lake, Pleasant Prairie and Paris departments are responding. Traffic on Highway 50 is being blocked in both directions. Deputy reports that visibility along road is very bad. I saw the fire approaching the office buildings off of 236th Avenue near Highway 50 very rapidly, scattering curiosity seekers. Here’s some video I took from that vantage point at about 3:30 p.m.:

UPDATE 3:49 p.m. — Fire trying to cross Highway 50. Firefighters heading there. Personnel also moving to protect a home west of the fire.

UPDATE 4:33 p.m. — Smoke no longer visible over Paddock Lake.

UPDATE 5:07 p.m. — Eastbound traffic on Highway 50 reopened.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m. — Just got back from the scene. Salem/Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Bill Carey said the fire was out at about 4:30 p.m. No injuries to civilians or firefighters and no structures were damaged. Paris Chief Roland Iwen, who was also on scene, estimated that the property was about 150 acres total, with much of that now charrred. Here’s some video of a briefing by Carey at the scene:

UPDATE 6:38 p.m. — Deputies discussing opening the left lane of traffic on Highway 50.

From just east of 236th Avenue.

Reader Kelly Mickelsen shared this photo, which shows how thick the smoke was at its height. /Kelly Mickelsen photo

/Earlene Frederick photo

/Earlene Frederick photo

/Earlene Frederick photo

/Earlene Frederick photo

Contributed photo by Attorney Bryce Lehman, Edenhofer Law Offices

This contributed photo from Brian Cardarella shows the extent of the fire in the field.



  1. Nancy wall says:

    Kudos to westofthei.com for the wonderful reporting and even pictures of the situation with the fire on Hwy 50 this afternoon! We couldn’t get information anywhere else. We only saw the black smoke and had a constant parade of cars driving past our house when the traffic was diverted. It was very scary not knowing what was happening until I thought of checking your website. Thank you!

  2. Cheryl Sieberth says:

    I agree with the above post. Love that we can look at your website and you always have the information we are looking for. We saw the smoke too and was curious as to what was going on, your website is where we went next. Thanks for always providing a quick update with the news!!! It is great to have!

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