Northwestern Wisconsin at risk for wildfires Friday

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 10:04 AM CDT
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CHANHASSEN, Minn. (WEAU) - The National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minn. is issuing a red flag warning for critical fire conditions this afternoon across northwestern Wisconsin.

According to the Twin Cities office of the NWS, the red flag warning is issued when critical fire weather conditions are present or will occur soon. The factors for Friday’s red flag warning include high winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures.

Some of the Wisconsin areas under the red flag warning include Barron, Polk, Rusk, and St. Croix counties. Counties further north in Wisconsin and across much of central and northeastern Minnesota are also under the red flag warning, which lasts from noon until 7 p.m. Friday.

The forecast for the area calls for winds gusting to 30 miles per hour and humidity around 20 percent, as well as high temperatures around 90 degrees.

Here are some safety tips offered by the National Weather Service in the event of a red flag warning:

  • If you are allowed to burn in your area, all burn barrels must be covered with a weighted metal cover, with holes no larger than 3/4 of an inch.
  • Do not throw cigarettes or matches out of a moving vehicle. They may ignite dry grass on the side of the road and become a wildfire.
  • Extinguish all outdoor fires properly. Drown fires with plenty of water and stir to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Dunk charcoal in water until cold. Do not throw live charcoal on the ground and leave it.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Sparks or embers can blow into leaves or grass, ignite a fire, and quickly spread.
A map showing the fire danger across Wisconsin on June 18, 2021 provided by the Wisconsin Dept....
A map showing the fire danger across Wisconsin on June 18, 2021 provided by the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources.(Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources)

The Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources says that much of the northwestern part of the state is also at high and very high fire danger Friday. Counties at very high fire danger include Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk, Sawyer, and Washburn, while high fire danger is present in west-central and northeastern Wisconsin.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that each household knows and understands what to do in the event of a wildfire. Generally, here are some tips to be aware of in the event of a wildfire:

  • Recognize Warnings and Alerts: Have several ways to receive alerts.
  • Make an Emergency Plan: Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands what to do if you need to quickly evacuate.
  • Review Important Documents: Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents (like ID) are up to date.
  • Know your Evacuation Zone: Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household, pets, and identify where you will go.
  • Gather Supplies: Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, masks, pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk.
  • Stay Safe During: Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so!
  • Returning Home After a Wildfire: Do not return home until authorities say it is safe to do so.

More resources about wildfire safety are available by clicking here. You can learn about fire danger and burning restrictions in your area on the Wisconsin DNR website by clicking here.

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