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NEWS STORIES

Wildfire Season Quickly Approaching the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 05/02/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


STATEWIDE - Although it's fairly damp in much of the Northwoods now , that could change quickly. When the snow is gone, last year's leaves will dry out fast, and make the perfect fuel for forest fires.

"Generally spring is our most dangerous fire season because all the dead and dry vegetation, and that's typically time of year that we have the least amount of humidity," said John Gillen a Forest Ranger with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Recources.

We've all seen the signs with Smokey the Bear alongside the road. Now is the time to follow his warning. Just one warm, windy day can push conditions from a low fire threat, to moderate or high. That makes it even more important to follow the rules before lighting a fire.

"Now that we've lost our snow cover, folks need to obtain a burning permit anytime that they wish to burn yard waste, such as leaves, needles, brush piles, those types of things," said Gillen.

Wind, humidity, temperature, and the timing of the last rainfall are the biggest factors in a wildfire. Gillen says to take extra care with long-burning fires, like wood boilers. They can take DAYS to completely die out, he says be especially careful with those ashes.


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A few months ago, St. Germain asked Plum Lake to open parts of those roads as part of an ATV route. At first, the Plum Lake Town Board approved them. That was before they found out a section of Kurtzweil Road was completely in Plum Lake.

"At that time the Plum Lake Town Board by a 2 to 1 vote approved letting them use that, assuming at the time the two roads were boundary roads equally shared by Sayner and St. Germain," said Will Maines, the Plum Lake Town Chairman.

So when St. Germain came back to the next town meeting with an ordinance for the roads ready to go, the Plum Lake town board then voted no.

Maines said most of the people in Plum Lake don't want ATVs on their town roads. The board found this out from a survey of residents and taxpayers they sent out in 2015, where he said about two-thirds of non-resident property owners and about two-thirds of Plum Lake resident voters voted against allowing ATVs on town roads.

"We'd like to cooperate with the town of St. Germain, but we represent the people of Plum Lake, and they have given us the message loud and clear: they don't want us to allow them on any section of our roads," Maines said.

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