OSSEO, Wis. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s spring fire season has resulted in the death of an 83-year-old man from Osseo. Spencer Pederson died Saturday night at a hospital in St. Paul. Authorities said he was severely burned over a large percentage of his body after a fire started in a corn field.
Osseo Fire Chief Nels Gunderson said conditions are extremely dry – and Pederson’s tractor may have ignited his field. He might have been trying to put the fire out himself when he was overcome by the flames. 2 others were also burned, but not as badly.
State officials say the fire risk is very high in most of the northern two-thirds of Wisconsin. The DNR’s 9 dispatching groups reported a total of 607 wildfires this spring, through early Sunday afternoon. Just under 1,S200 acres have been burned. The Woodruff region has the most fires with 92, and the Cumberland area has the most acres damaged with 281. And conditions won’t get any better soon. The National Weather Service does not mention the word “rain” in its state forecast until Friday – when there’s a chance of thunderstorms in central and southern Wisconsin.