A marsh fire has forced the evacuation of homes in an area east of Johnson Creek Wednesday afternoon, according to Johnson Creek police.
The 200-acre fire sent firefighters from eight departments to the intersection of Switzkee Road and Ranch Road, just north of Interstate 94, at about 1:30 p.m. to protect nearby homes.
Johnson Creek Fire Chief David Peterson said a farmer burning dead vegetation near his fence line started the fire.
The fire chief said the fire got out of control when the wind picked up, sometimes with gusts of 30-40 mph.
Firefighters worked from behind the fire, spraying the fire with water from their all-terrain vehicles. They weren't able to use fire trucks in the bog where the dry grass was burning under green grass.
"I thought we would be fighting this whole thing for another 4 miles up the road, but fortunately our ATVs came up from behind and the flame line out and got the fire out," Peterson said.
Crews evacuated a half dozen homes off Switzkee Road, and they had plans to evacuate even more if the fire wasn't brought under control.
"When you looked outside, you could not see 5 feet in front of you; the smoke was so bad," said Lindsey Neevel, a resident who was evacuated.
Smoke could be seen from the interstate.
Firefighters got the fire under control late Wednesday afternoon.