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Wildfire risk to increase statewide over the weekend

Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Wildfire risk to increase statewide over the weekend

So far this year, over 500 wildfires have been reported statewide, four times the number of wildfires as of this point one year ago.

April 19, 2024 8:45 AM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska

WISCONSIN (Civic Media) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking people to avoid burning outdoors this weekend due to increased risks of wildfires across the state.

Low humidity combined with warm and windy conditions will make it easier for fires to spread through early next week.

In addition, parts of the state are still in drought, and for most of the state, vegetation is still dry, creating ideal conditions for fires to quickly spread.

122 wildfires have been reported in the past week, including a single-day high of 37 last weekend. 340 acres have burned this week so far. Most of the fires this year have been because of debris burning and powerlines, according to the DNR.

Wisconsin is far ahead of schedule in its wildfire season after a mild winter. The state crossed 500 total wildfires and 1,000 acres burned in 2024 earlier this week. Last year, the state had 128 total wildfires through April 17, including a 3,000-acre wildfire near Fort McCoy one year ago. Wildfire season is expected to last several more weeks, according to the DNR.

The DNR provides a number of resources to help families, property owners, and communities plan for wildfires, including action plans if a wildfire is near a populated area. You can see what the fire danger is locally by visiting the DNR’s fire management dashboard.

FIRE SAFETY TIPS

  • 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 dragging trailer chains.
  • Report fires early, dial 911.

You can find more safety information on the DNR’s website.

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