When fire danger is high, the DNR calls conditions "dangerous," and adds that fires can be difficult to control. It also says burning is not recommended.
MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Department of Natural Resources warned people in several western Wisconsin counties of high fire danger Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the department listed the fire danger in the "high" category for Eau Claire, Chippewa, Dunn, Clark, and Pepin Counties. Several other counties to the west and northwest of that area are also listed as high fire danger. Some of the surrounding counties are listed in the "moderate" category. It's because of the dry conditions outside.
The DNR urges people to use caution when burning anything outdoors. Outdoor burning with a permit is allowed right now.
“People are not thinking about grass fires this time of year. It's generally something they think of in the spring,” Fall Creek Asst. Fire Chief Jamie Kaeding said.
“If you have a camp fire or something, you go to bed and leave your fire embers going, the wind can blow them onto the grass and that can burn really easily.”
The dry weather has also challenged gardeners.
“A lot of folks are seeing it's really difficult to grow vegetables when we've only got three small rains in the last six weeks or so,” Andrew Werthman with the Community Garden in Eau Claire said.
But he said it's not too late to save plants suffering from dry conditions.
“Check the soil, see if it's dry or not, if it's crumbly in your hands, that means there's probably not enough moisture for the plant. Once you water it, think about using some grass or clippings or leaves to mulch around the plants. Keep the moisture in. That's the best thing you can do to conserve water,” he said.
Kaeding said without rain, people need to use caution.
“Just be mindful of your burning this time of year, like you would in the spring. Make sure if you have a campfire, it's completely out when you're done with it and of course, don't throw cigarettes out the window, and if you're cooking, make sure your charcoal is put away in a safe place when you're done cooking,” Kaeding said.
Werthman said the best times to water plants is when it's cooler in the morning or evenings, to keep more water in the ground.
Jamie Kaeding said anyone who needs to burn, should wait until after we see some heavy rain.