MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin DNR has suspended the use of burning permits and is requesting all residents to check in with their local authorities for any burning restrictions, specifically this weekend because of a very high risk of fire danger.
According to a release, the danger is throughout all of Wisconsin as locals head into the Easter holiday weekend. With low humidity and high winds in the forecast, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the National Weather Service, and other partners are paying particularly close attention to areas most at risk.
As a result of the elevated fire risk, the DNR says burning remains suspended with DNR-issued burning permits for debris piles, barrels, and grass or wooded areas across the DNR Protection Area.
Note: The DNR Protection Area includes Adams County, Ashland County, Barron County*, Bayfield County, Burnett County, Chippewa County *, Clark County *, Columbia County, Crawford County, Dane County *, Douglas County, Eau Claire County *, Florence County, Forest County, Grant County *, Green Lake County, Iowa County *, Iron County, Jackson County *, Juneau County, Langlade County, Lincoln County, Marathon County *, Marinette County, Marquette County, Menominee County, Monroe County *, Oconto County *, Oneida County, Polk County *, Portage County, Price County, Richland County, Rusk County, Sauk County, Sawyer County, Shawano County *, Taylor County, Vilas County, Washburn County, Waupaca County *, Waushara County and Wood County*.
Counties with an asterisk (*) are those where only a portion are in the DNR Protection Area.
If you are outside the DNR Protection Area, the DNR asks if you could check with your local authorities for any burning restrictions.
Officials say fire can quickly start and spread in these conditions. To help keep Wisconsinites safe, fire officials are asking people to avoid all outdoor burning including limiting the use of campfires and making sure to extinguish and dispose of cigarettes properly.
Outdoor enthusiasts should also use caution with off-road vehicles or equipment that can create a spark and start a fire. They ask everyone to keep in mind that weather conditions can change frequently and quickly become dangerous.
DNR explains this year has already had more than 200 wildfires reported in Wisconsin so far, burning over 450 acres. Fire officials anticipate a slightly longer than average fire season because of how early the snow melted around the state.
The earliest chance of minimal precipitation is expected Monday. In the meantime, they ask everyone to please continue to take extra precautions during this dry spell.
If you need to report fires quickly, DNR asks you to call 911 immediately. To stay up-to-date. check fire conditions online here.