Most of Wisconsin under extreme or very high fire riskSubmitted: 04/15/2015
Story By Kaitlyn Howe

Most of Wisconsin under extreme or very high fire risk
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR relies on people who work in fire towers to spot forest fires such as the one they spotted Wednesday morning in Sugar Camp.

DNR rangers say it's especially important to find these fires now, when most of the state is under a red flag warning, which indicates an extreme forest fire risk.

"Our fire towers are very critical in that no one from the general public identified a fire or called 911 whatsoever, and so we were able to find this fire early just because of those folks working in our fire towers," says DNR Forester Ranger John Gillen.

Thirty-nine Wisconsin counties--including Marathon, Portage, and Wood counties--are under a red flag warning right now, a condition rarely seen in this part of the country.

"We definitely have not seen extreme and very high fire danger the last couple years, very often," Gillen says. "But this year, we certainly lost our snow pack fairly early and a lot of areas within the state have not received considerable precipitation."

Gillen says the recent snow did little to reduce the forest fire risk.

"Even though we had snow just days ago, our fields dry out very, very quickly this time of the year because the vegetation just hasn't had a chance to green up, and the forest hasn't had a chance to add humidity within that climate to help with forest fire reduction," says Gillen.

The Northwoods isn't under a red flag warning, but it is under a very high fire danger.

The DNR has suspended all burn permits.

To find out more about burn restrictions for where you live, follow the link at the bottom of this story.

Related Weblinks:
DNR Fire Danger

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