Wisconsin DNR urges caution; says fire danger is very high across the entire state

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) If you’re planning to do any burning this coming weekend the DNR asks you to think again. Due to low humidity and dry vegetation, fire danger statewide is very high.

With low humidity and lots of dry vegetation, fire prevention experts with the DNR are on standby, ready and waiting for the worst.

“We have all of the fire equipment that we have available to us and it is staffed for fire suppression today,” said DNR Fire Suppression Specialist Eric Martin.

The DNR announced that fire danger is very high across the entire state and will likely stay that way through the weekend.

“We ask people not to burn, not to burn their debris piles or burn barrels, especially today moving into the holiday weekend here,” Martin said.

This year the DNR says there have been 200 fires burning over 450 acres. And the vast majority could have been prevented.

“The number one cause of fires in Wisconsin is related to debris burning,” said Wildfire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele.

To try and prevent fires, the DNR is suspending DNR burn permits in 43 counties. About half of Wisconsin is regulated by the state.

“All lands in the state that are not in a city or municipality,” Martin said.

Fire season came early this year because of our mild winter. And when snow melts off it takes some time for grass to grow. In that period, between April and May, the DNR stays on high alert.

“When it’s hot, dry and windy, basically our fuels are conducive to readily start and that is when we need multiple staff on,” Martin said.

If conditions remain mild the DNR says they’ll ask the National Guard for aerial support. But for now, what they really need is for people like this woman, to respect the potential danger and play it safe until vegetation starts to green up.

“Do you worry about that? I do, I do. You see it every day about fires everywhere and they just go and go and go, so I do worry about it here for sure,” said Marie Schmitt.

“Ninety-eight percent of fires in Wisconsin are caused by people,” said Koele.

The DNR says the earliest chance of minimal precipitation is expected Monday.

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