Governor Scott Walker has declared a State of Emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions throughout Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requested wildfire suppression support from the Wisconsin National Guard due to abnormally dry conditions across the state.
Catherine Koele, the DNR’s wildfire prevention specialist, said the governor’s deceleration gives the agency access to Blackhawk helicopters stationed in Madison, which can be used for bucket drops as needed to knock back wildfires.
Fire danger is “high” in ten counties in northeastern Wisconsin, but Koele notes conditions can change rapidly this time of year, when the agency is aggressive about preventing unwanted, human caused fires.
“Really, the key here is that it’s a short period of time in the year when we do this, and we ask that people hold off (outdoor burning) until conditions improve.”
The public can keep track in real time where the DNR and local fire departments are fighting wildfires, thanks to the new web page “Live Status Wildfire Occurrence.” Just enter “fire” on the DNR homepage to check that out.