RHINELANDER - Hot sun and low humidity combined to create a beautiful start to our week in the Northwoods.
But that type of weather helped lead to at least four grass and brush fires in the Oneida County area Monday, too.
Those fires show how important it is to stay within DNR burning regulations, especially with weather like this.
Fire blackened a patch of forest near Lake Mildred, northwest of Rhinelander, Monday afternoon.
Homeowner Glenn Anderson was burning waste in a barrel near the edge of the forest when a spark started a bigger fire.
Before long, the forest was on fire, due to the dry fuel under the trees.
"Even though we had ice and snow over the weekend, things have dried out considerably in the area up here. The oak leaves and the grass vegetation are extremely dry right now, and the fires are still spreading. Even though it might be wet in some areas, it's burning across the surface," said DNR Forestry Technician Phillip Puestow.
No one was hurt and no buildings were damaged.
That might have been different if the wind had been blowing from another direction.
The property owner now knows how to keep his burns safe on days like today.
"I learned a good lesson here. I was burning things in the burn barrel during the day, sometimes, and I find out that you're not supposed to burn until after six o'clock at night, and you have to check with the DNR every day before you burn, because some days they have restrictions. Live and learn!" said property owner Glenn Anderson.
Burning after 6 p.m. reduces the chances that wind can carry off sparks or embers.
The DNR requires everyone to get a free burning permit.
Many days, burning in the evening is allowed, but some days have restrictions altogether.
RHINELANDER - The new Oneida County Fair Coordinator wants to see the fair grow and get the community fully involved.
It's Tom Barnett's first year as fair coordinator and Saturday at Pat's Tavern in Rhinelander he hosted a fundraiser.
He said he didn't have a financial goal for Saturday's event, but says every dollar is more than they had before and makes a difference.
"We really want to bring the community into the fair. We want them to be involved a lot more. With the support from the community the sponsorship, it's only going to help the fair grow bigger and better. We need that sponsorship we need the support from the community to make the fair grown and make it more successful than it has been," said Barnett.
Pixy the Clown and Ms America were two of the many guests at the event. There was also food, drinks and raffles.
MADISON (AP) - Madison is ending its compost collection program because residents were putting too many non-compostable items in their carts and the city can't afford its own biodigester.
Bryan Johnson is the city's recycling coordinator. He tells The Wisconsin State Journal that ending the program will give officials time to study other options for collecting food scraps and other compostable materials.
The program currently has about 1,100 households and 40 businesses involved.
Johnson says separating non-compostable materials is a labor-intensive and slow process that requires additional water. The digester's operator, GL Dairy Biogas, charges a $200-per-ton fee to separate debris from compostable material.
Mayor Paul Soglin says he hopes the city can find ways to work with larger producers before integrating the process into the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District.
The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce will need to find a new executive director. Maggie Steffen has resigned from her position for personal reasons. In a Facebook post, Steffen thanked the people who helped her during her year and a half as director.
She also said the Chamber made many great strides during her time. When the Chamber hires a new director, he or she will be the sixth director since 2011.
MINOCQUA - In just a couple months, the democratic primary will decide which party candidate will run against Governor Scott Walker.
On Saturday, five of those candidates spent time in Minocqua answering citizen's questions at a candidate forum.
Mike, McCabe, Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Kathleen Vinehout, and Dana Wachs were all in attendance. The forum had candidates answer audience questions on education, healthcare, the environment, and economy issues.
Organizer Jackie Cody said the event was a way to get people informed on each candidate before the democratic primary.
"At this particular point we need to have democrats, and independents, and those who are questioning what's going on with answers before the magic date of August 14th, and this provides people with information," said Cody.
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