Fire danger looming in Eau Claire and Chippewa County

(WEAU) – "Grasses ignite easily and fire spreads easily, when the relative humidity is low," said Steve Edge, Department of Natural Resources.

Steve Edge of the DNR says we have a high pressure system with clear skies, but with humidity’s currently dropping to the 20 to 25 percent range more fires will ignite.

"With the nice weather were getting into our spring fire season and this week were seeing humidity's drop pretty low, fortunately we've been light winds so it isn't too bad, but we are in very high fire danger now," said Steve.

The Chippewa Falls Fire Department says they extinguished one grass fire in Lake Hallie, but it's not the first fire they've faced the past few weeks.

"Conditions are right for some fairly substantial grass fires, just given the fact that we didn't have much snow this year and things have dried out much earlier than normal,” said Jon Taylor, Battalion Chief.

Meanwhile the DNR says they are trying to protect the area.

"We do have detection up during the day time, which includes our aircraft, our fire towers and then we rely a lot on citizen reporting also," said Steve.

A fire tower is in operation in the town of Seymour and that's just one of two in Eau Claire County.

The fire towers are about 100 feet in the air, and are meant to stop grass fires before they spread.

"So far we haven't had much rain and if the trend continues as it is, there is a potential for many more grass fires,” said Jon

"People need to check with their local fire department or town chairman to know what their local regulation is," said Steve.

The Eau Claire Fire Department says they are still allowing burning outdoors, within city limits.


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