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No disaster declaration for rural Ottawa debris fire

IEPA could have next steps set next week

The Illinois EPA should decide by next week what action it will take in regard to a stubborn wood fire at Route 71 and 4-H Road west of Ottawa.
The Illinois EPA should decide by next week what action it will take in regard to a stubborn wood fire at Route 71 and 4-H Road west of Ottawa.

La Salle County sent a disaster proclamation to Gov. Bruce Rauner in an effort to get state help to quell a smoldering wood debris fire near Ottawa at Route 71 and 4-H Road, County Board President Jerry Hicks reported at Thursday’s County Board meeting.

“It didn’t work,” he said.

“It’s an accident that we just can’t get resolved,” board member Tom Thrush, of Ottawa, told the board.

“It’s outside of the city, it’s no fault of the county,” he said. “It’s a bad thing that happened at the worst time.”

The state will not offer any assistance, he said, “and Mother Nature’s not working with us.”

Other ideas are being considered he said.

"We’re doing the best we can to try to resolve it,” Thrush said. “There’s a lot of unhappy people out there.”

The Grand Ridge Fire Department continues to monitor the fire.

Representatives from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency inspected the fire site this week, according to IEPA spokeswoman Kim Biggs. The Illinois EPA should decide by next week what action it will take.

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