Cleanup is underway at Forsman Farms in Howard Lake after a fire on Saturday night.
According to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, crews responded to the scene off Highway 12 around 10 p.m.
Sgt. Troy Wachter told KARE 11 the fire destroyed a poultry building with an estimated 200,000 chickens inside.
Forsman Farms spokesperson Jon Austin said they do not have a firm number yet but they’re estimating at least tens of thousands of chickens were killed, up to a couple hundreds of thousands. Some chickens in adjacent buildings were also affected, mostly from smoke inhalation.
Eddie Olson was having a bonfire in his backyard, about six miles away in Cokato, when he started hearing sirens.
“I’m a SKYWARN spotter so I do a lot of radio communications and stuff and this is one of maybe 50 radios I have. I just grabbed one and heard that they were dispatching other departments. So I knew it was big,” Olson said.
Olson filmed video at the scene of the fire.
“It’s a lot of chickens. It’s a hit to the egg market, it’s people’s jobs, it’s a local community. So any time anything big like that happens, it’s not good,” Olson said.
A Wright County egg producer is evaluating the damage left behind from a Saturday night fire. A Forsman Farms spokesperson said they do not have a firm number yet but he estimates at least tens of thousands of chickens were killed. https://t.co/JPkqaQqO6Y @kare11 pic.twitter.com/51F8gE4oea
— Heidi Wigdahl (@HeidiWigdahl) May 30, 2022