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River Valley Ranch on Highway 50

UPDATE: Controlled burn gets out of control at River Valley Ranch mushroom farm

Mushroom fire fire on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A controlled-burn of scrap materials at the River Valley Ranch mushroom farm, 39960 60th St., went wrong, catching plastic planting trays on fire an creating a smoke cloud large enough to be seen from Green Bay Road in Kenosha and from Lake Geneva in Walworth County Tuesday morning.

A controlled-burn of scrap materials at the River Valley Ranch mushroom farm, 39960 60th St., went wrong, catching plastic planting trays on fire an creating a smoke cloud large enough to be seen from Green Bay Road in Kenosha and from Lake Geneva in Walworth County Tuesday morning.

Cheri Petkus, a manager at River Valley Ranch & Kitchens, which sits across Highway 50 from the farm, said she noticed the fire and called 911.

“Luckily it was in the field and it seems like the barn was kept out of it,” she said. “As far as I know everyone is safe.”

Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. David Wright said the initial call came at 7:56 a.m.

“One of the managers of the property was doing a controlled burn of scraps,” Wright said.

Current reports indicate a piece of stray cardboard got out of the burn pit, setting fire to around 300 plastic planting trays nearby. A small tractor and the outside wall of a barn were also damaged, but no injuries were reported.

Several area fire departments responded, including units and personnel from Wheatland, Randall, Salem Lakes, Twin Lakes, Bristol and Somer.

Additional departments were then called in to assist, including firefighters from Fox Lake, Antioch, Spring Grove, Lynn Township, Bloomfield and Richmond, in Illniois, as well as units from Burlington, Lake Geneva and Kansasville.

Wright said the Kenosha County Fire Investigation Task Force is currently looking into the fire.

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