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Outdoor Burning Warning

Springtime is typically a welcome season. Temperatures increase, snow melts, and warm breezes fill the air.

Unfortunately, each of those signs of the season heighten the threat for wild fires. Richland County DNR Forester Todd Kenefick said that April is typically when most of the wildland fires take place in southwest Wisconsin. He said that virtually every blaze is preventable because they are started by people who do not take the necessary precautions when burning debris.

Annual burning permits can be obtained on-line at the DNR website, or by calling toll free 1-888-WIS-BURN – which is 1-888-947-2876. You can have a permit mailed or instantly e-mailed to you. Permits are also available at local Ranger Stations or from an Emergency Fire Warden.

Since weather conditions can change rapidly, fire managers set fire restrictions based on the current and predicted fire danger for the day. After landowners have selected the county where they wish to burn, the toll-free number or internet will provide you with the most up-to-date fire restriction information. These restrictions will tell you the time and size restrictions for a fire, or if burning has been suspended due to increased forest fire danger. Remember, you must check daily after 11:00 AM on the day you wish to burn regardless of whether you are planning to burn on the ground or in a barrel. It's your responsibility to have a permit available and ready to show to law enforcement personnel or firefighters if requested at any time while burning. Failure to obtain a permit or comply with the daily restrictions could result in a citation. Also, if your fire escapes and starts a wildfire, you may be held liable for all suppression costs. Any person, whose property is injured or destroyed by your fire, may also recover, in a civil action, the value of timber or damages suffered.