The Wausau Daily Herald reports that the blaze was so intense, smoke blanketed nearby roadways and created hazardous driving conditions. Other news agencies have stated that the barn was a total loss, and the cause is still under investigation. Authorities believe at least 64 cattle died in the fire, reports WSAW-TV.
How common are these fires? From 2006 to 2010, 830 barn fires were reported to U.S. municipal fire departments each year, according to NFPA's "Structure Fires in Barns" report. Nearly a quarter of these fires were caused by heating equipment. NFPA 150, Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities, applies to these types of settings.