MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in conjunction with the National Weather Service, has issued a Red Flag Warning for today, Thursday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the following counties in the southern two-thirds of Wisconsin:
Adams, Buffalo, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Washington, Winnebago and Wood counties.
A Red Flag Warning is issued when a variety of weather factors come together to create especially dangerous wildland fire conditions. Warm temperatures, low humidity, gusty winds and exceptionally dry fuels are anticipated and can result in catastrophic fires.
This is the second day in a row Wisconsin is undergoing these conditions. As a result, the counties in the impacted area will remain at Extreme fire danger. The DNR will continue to prohibit burning with all DNR-issued burning permits. The public should be especially careful with any activities that could potentially lead to a wildland fire and avoid burning.
Campfires, ashes from fireplaces, outdoor grills, smoking, chainsaws, off-road vehicles or other small engines have the potential to throw a spark, ignite a fire and spread quickly. Please use extreme caution until the fire weather improves.
Additionally, Gov. Tony Evers yesterday signed Executive Order #191 declaring a State of Emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions throughout Wisconsin.
The Executive Order allows wildfire suppression support from the Wisconsin National Guard and assist with rapidly mobilize the Guard’s Black Hawk helicopters to the areas of the state in most need of aerial fire suppression resources during the spring fire season which generally lasts through May. Executive Order #191 also directs all Wisconsin state agencies to assist as appropriate in wildfire prevention, response and recovery efforts.
The DNR responded to 21 wildfires, burning over 2,500 acres yesterday. Several fires occurred in Juneau and Jackson counties, resulting in the mobilization of a DNR incident management team. The Jack Pine Fire burned an estimated 100 acres and is currently contained. The DNR, under unified command with Fort McCoy, is also managing the 2,800-acre Arcadia Fire. Nearly 80 wildfires have occurred in the last week.
Fire control officials will be on high alert across the entire state again today, pre-positioning equipment for rapid response and checking burned areas from previous fires. The DNR anticipates continued dry, elevated fire conditions with a slight reprieve heading into the weekend with some chances of rain.
Check current fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website.