MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to avoid burning due to very high fire danger across most of Wisconsin.
Warm, dry and breezy conditions are expected again today, which makes burning of any kind extremely risky.
Areas with VERY HIGH fire danger today include Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Florence, Fond du Lac, Forest, Green Lake, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Monroe, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Sheboygan, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties.
Areas with HIGH fire danger include Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties.
DNR burning permits for debris piles, barrels and broadcast burns are suspended in 36 counties today where the DNR has authority to regulate burning.
In the last week, 127 wildfires have burned nearly 100 acres, most of which were related to down powerlines, with some resulting from debris burning, equipment and lightning. The DNR has responded to 450 fires burning over 630 acres so far this year.
Quick response times by the DNR, local fire departments and aerial suppression resources have minimized fire growth keeping most fires small to just over one acre in size.
The southern half of the state is greening up, which is moderating fire potential, yet this part of the state is currently in High fire danger. In the north, green-up has begun in the heavier soils and hardwoods, but vegetation in the dry, sandy and pine areas remains vulnerable to large fire growth.
The pine in those dry areas is in a stage where the moisture levels are at their lowest point resulting in increased flammability in the crowns of the trees making fires challenging to control and suppress.
Any fire could quickly start and spread in these conditions. To help us keep Wisconsinites safe, the DNR is asking the public to avoid outdoor burning, including limiting the use of campfires until conditions improve.
Cooler temperatures and some small chances of rain occurring over the coming days should help moderate fire danger and foster further greening of vegetation.
Be fire smart. Fire danger and burning restrictions changes daily — check before you burn after 11 a.m. each day for the most up-to-date fire danger and any burning restrictions.
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
● Avoid outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn permits for debris burning are currently suspended in numerous counties.
● Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawn mowers, etc.) early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours.
● Secure trailer chains to keep them from dragging.
● Delay having campfires until the evening hours as fire conditions tend to improve; keep them small and contained. Make sure they are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended.
● Report fires early, dial 911.
Check daily fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website at bit.ly/WiFireDanger