After a fire destroyed the lone fire hall on Madeline Island in early March, the Wisconsin DNR stepped in to help the island.
When the fire broke out on March 6, volunteer firefighters from Bayfield, Red Cliff, Washburn and Ashland responded, but could only bring relatively light "brush trucks," according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, because the ice wasn't thick enough to support the weight of fire engines.
In the end, the Town of LaPointe, which is the town on Madeline Island, lost all its firefighting and emergency rescue equipment. It was left without fire trucks, ambulance and SCBAs, the "self-contained breathing apparatus" tanks firefighters use to enter burning structures.
Then Mark Guenther, a forestry technician with the Wisconsin DNR and a volunteer on the Washburn Fire Department, made a call. By the end of the next day, the DNR had moved two of its Type 4 wildland firefighting engines across the ice to offer protection, at no cost, for the island residents while their fire department rebuilds.