RHINELANDER - Health officials urge people to stay indoors the next few days to avoid health problems caused by frigid temperatures.
But staying inside your home can be dangerous if you don't heat it properly.
The most common cold weather emergencies Rhinelander firefighters respond to are fires caused by portable heaters.
But it's not just the heaters that cause fires.
It's the extension cords used to power them.
"People overuse them. They join them together. In fact, we recommend if you need an extension cord to buy a power strip. That's got the circuit breaker built in to it so if the appliance were to overheat, the circuit breaker would trip," said Rhinelander Fire Department Deputy Chief Craig Metz.
People using portable heaters should place them in the middle of a room to avoid a fire hazard.
They shouldn't run extension cords through doorways.
The cords can bend, causing them to wear down.
Firefighters don't respond to as many chimney or oven fires as they did a few years ago.
New furnaces and the ability for more people to have heat through heating assistance programs have helped reduce the use of ovens and fires.
But a furnace can still pose a danger.
"You want to make sure the intake and the exhaust on your furnace is kept clean. We see that quite a bit where the snow banks will block off the exhaust of the furnace," explained Metz.
Exhaust can build up, creating deadly carbon monoxide levels if the snow isn't cleared.
Firefighters say now is a perfect time to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to be sure they're working.
MERRILL - A Merrill public safety center can now use a new patrol car for training. The Merrill Police Department donated one of their retired police cars to the Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence. The donation marks the end of Crown Victoria police cars for the city.
"We've just retired our last Ford Crown Victoria," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff. "A couple of years ago, Ford stopped manufacturing the Crown Victoria as a fleet vehicle. For years we've had Crown Vics, but now we've gone to the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer."
MADISON - Wisconsin lawmakers have rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to block the state Department of Natural Resources from purchasing any land through its stewardship program for at least the next 13 years.
WHITE LAKE - Students in White Lake spent the day outside of the classroom learning about invasive species today. It was the 16th annual Spring Lake Day at White Lake. It's part of the year-round Adopt-A-Lake program that teaches students about waterway and environmental preservation.
"Being on White Lake and being in the Northwoods, aquatic invasive species education is extremely important," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss. "And a good way to reach out to people is through our students and through our youth."
Elementary students from White Lake School learned about the different aquatic invasive species such as purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. They also learned how to prevent them from spreading.
"Those plants spread by fragmentation and boat traffic," said Preuss. "And just educating people so they know the right steps to take and the laws to prevent this plant from moving around. We have 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin; just a small percentage have an invasive species."
Students also learned about the spread of a tree killing bug called emerald ash bore.
MADISON - The Legislature's finance committee has adopted Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate 80 positions within the state Department of Natural Resources, including more than half of the researchers in the agency's science bureau.
VILAS COUNTY - A warming climate could have significant impacts on Northwoods streams. Warming streams, in turn, could put pressure on trout populations in those waterways.
"If we think about streams, it is changing, and that's going to potentially change what can live here and the habitats that are available," said Dr. Noah Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. "We've seen that across a whole range of things and a wide variety of studies."
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