As the severe dry conditions worsen, Governor Scott Walker declares a state of emergency in all 72 Wisconsin counties. In a press release, Walker says the increase in wildfires is adding to the risk of major economic losses, especially in agriculture. He says the state will utilize “whatever resources are necessary” to help.
The statewide Executive Order directs all state agencies to assist in the response and recovery to the drought, and it directs Wisconsin Emergency Management to coordinate state efforts. The drought emergency declaration also waives fees and expedites the permitting process to allow farmers to divert water from certain streams and lakes without causing serious environmental damage.
Governor Walker is also urging people to use caution and comply with burn restrictions. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has responded to more than 300 wildfires since June 1.