You’ve heard warnings about out-of-control fires; DNR officials are not just blowing smoke.
Over half of Wisconsin is under a very high fire danger, and Catherine Koele, wildfire prevention specialist with the state DNR, says there have already been many reports of small man-made fires throughout the state.
“Forty three out of the 72 counties statewide are under extreme fire conditions.”
Koele says this is an earlier than normal fire season. Warmer weather, lower humidity, and higher winds are a perfect combination for the rapid spread of wildfires. On top of that, it’s the time of year that people like to do yard clean-up — burning their brush and debris, but the DNR has suspended burning permits.
“If burning is your only option, delay burning until conditions improve.” Otherwise, she says, there are alternatives.
In Wisconsin debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires. Koele says there’s a $175 fine for burning without a permit, and you’re liable for all suppression costs and damages.
“Suppression costs can be rather expensive. You have to pay for all the firefighters, the fire trucks, the air tankers…”
Also, Koele warns, wildfires put natural resources, structures, and people at risk. Before burning anything make sure you have a proper burning permit and know your local conditions.
When you eventually decide to burn and the fire should get away from you, call 911 or your local fire department. Don’t wait until it gets way out of hand.
Jackie Johnson report 1:34