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DNR: Most of Wisconsin at very high fire danger Monday

Before the forecasted Monday evening storms in western Wisconsin, most of the state will have windy, warm conditions Monday.
Due to the combination of low humidity and dry vegetation, the Wisconsin DNR has determined...
Before the forecasted Monday evening storms in western Wisconsin, most of the state will have windy, warm conditions Monday.(Jimmie Kaska/WEAU)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:42 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says most of Wisconsin has a very high fire danger Monday.

The central one-third of Wisconsin, including the cities of Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse and Wausau, as well as most of northern Wisconsin and especially the northeastern part of the state, are at very high fire danger the DNR’s second-highest category of five for wildfire risk.

Roughly the northern two-thirds of the state is largely at very high fire danger, with a handful of counties in far northwestern and in north-central Wisconsin at high fire danger, according to the DNR. In southern Wisconsin, counties were either at high or moderate fire danger as of 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The increased risk comes with warm temperatures and windy conditions across much of the state. Vegetation also has not fully formed in most of the state after cooler weather prevailed for the last several weeks. The DNR recommends against burning across most of the state Monday, and advised to take precautions with outdoor flames, such as campfires, to mitigate wildfire chances.

Wildfire risk in Wisconsin on May 9, 2022.
Wildfire risk in Wisconsin on May 9, 2022.(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

An incoming storm system could lower some of the wildfire risks Monday evening in parts of the state, especially in western Wisconsin.

The DNR says it has counted 319 wildfires in 2022 to date, which have burned over 514 acres so far this year. That includes 96 fires in the past week burning over 96 acres, according to the DNR, with 10 fires occurring Wednesday burning over 27 acres. Several of the more recent fires were in Burnett, Washburn and Sawyer counties in northwestern Wisconsin. DNR data shows that over 40% of this year’s wildfires (128) have been caused by debris burning.

Last year at this time, 577 wildfires had scorched over 1,739 acres across the state.

If you are unable to use the DNR’s burning restrictions, wildfires and prescribed fire activities map online, you can call 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) for information in your area.

FEMA 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 here. You can learn about fire danger and burning restrictions in your area on the Wisconsin DNR website here.

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