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Local firefighter warns burn ban is still in effectSubmitted: 05/21/2018
Local firefighter warns burn ban is still in effect
Erin Beu
Erin Beu
Reporter/Anchor
ebeu@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - With sunny skies and warm temperatures people might want to get outside and start grilling or barbecuing.

But many counties in the Northwoods still face a very high risk for fire danger.

"It can start out as a little fire on the side of the garage and you turn away to call your dog from across the street and look back and your whole house is on fire," said Rhinelander firefighter paramedic Nicholas Heise.

Heise said the department has been busy this spring responding to more fires than usual.

"This year has been a pretty dry (season) as far as seasons go," said Heise.

That means fires will burn more rapidly and aggressively in high risk areas.

"I expect these fires to be very rapid and quickly escalate," said Heise.

Heise said some of the calls have been people grilling or barbecuing in their backyard.

"If you are grilling outside just make sure to keep a close eye on the charcoal grill," said Oneida County Deputy Sheriff Michael Baran.

Baran responded to a call Sunday where a man lost control of his barbecuing in his backyard.

"It's very dry conditions," said Baran.

Even though you don't need a permit to have a bonfire or to grill, you still need to be cautious.

"It's pretty dry out there so you have to be careful," said Bessey's Meat Market employee Makenzie Meendering.

Meendering knows a bit about meat and how to grill safely.

"Never leave your grill unattended, make sure you're not cooking over dry grass especially with a charcoal grill is a big thing," said Meendering.

Heise said if you are going to grill and have a bonfire when the DNR considers your county at high risk, you need to keep your eye on it and have a water supply handy.

"Make sure you use your head, common sense goes a long way," said Baran.

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