(WFRV) – Wisconsinites are being asked by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to avoid burning, and a fire weather watch is in effect.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to avoid burning across northern Wisconsin. This is due to the critical fire danger.

A fire weather watch is reportedly in effect and the DNR and the National Weather Service (NWS) are monitoring the situation.

Officials say the sandy pines areas of northern Wisconsin are ‘always’ the slowest to green up. With very low humidity and potential for winds, the fires could spread out of control ‘rapidly’.

Areas with very high fire danger on Monday include:

  • Ashland
  • Bayfield
  • Burnett
  • Douglas
  • Florence
  • Forest Iron
  • Langlade
  • Lincoln
  • Marinette
  • Oconto
  • Oneida
  • Polk
  • Price
  • Sawyer
  • Vilas
  • Washburn

All DNR-issued annual burning permits for debris piles, burn barrels and prescribed burns are suspended for Monday. So far in 2023, the DNR says it has responded to 281 wildfires that have burned over 3,358 acres.

The following fire safety tips were provided by the DNR:

  • Avoid outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn permits for debris burning are currently suspended in numerous counties.
  • Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawnmowers, 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.

Officials said that the current fire danger in the southern half of Wisconsin is low as vegetation has greened up.

More information on the current fire danger as well as wildfire reports and burning restrictions can be found on the DNR’s website.