MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to stay vigilant and avoid burning because of very high fire danger across Wisconsin, particularly in the western half of the state.
The increased fire danger is due to a high pressure weather system, lack of significant rain and dry vegetation, primarily in the southern two-thirds of Wisconsin.
Areas with VERY HIGH danger today include Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, St. Croix, Sauk, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon and Waushara counties.
All DNR issued annual and special burning permits for debris piles, burn barrels and prescribed burns are suspended today in these counties where the DNR has burning permit authority.
The DNR has responded to 107 wildfires burning more than 276 acres so far this year. Nineteen of those were reported yesterday, burning 120 acres. Most of these were related to debris burning.
Small fires for warming or cooking are allowed but highly discouraged, especially during the daytime, as any spark can cause a wildfire under these conditions. Be extra careful with any outdoor flames, campfires, ash disposal or equipment use. Please check any recent debris burns for smoldering embers, as breezy conditions can cause fires to rekindle.
Be fire smart. Remember – fire danger and burning restrictions change every day.
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
- Check before you burn; burn permits for debris burning will likely be suspended in several counties over the coming days until conditions improve.
- 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 dragging trailer chains.
- Delay having campfires until the evening hours as fire conditions tend to improve; keep them small and contained.
- Report fires early, dial 911.
Check daily fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website at bit.ly/WiFireDanger.