Emergency burning restrictions for northwest Wisconsin counties go into effect April 6 for areas damaged by severe windstorm last summer
April 5, 2012
– Emergency burning restrictions for northwest Wisconsin counties impacted by last summer’s severe windstorm will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 6, 2012 in DNR fire protection areas. Portions of Burnett, Douglas, Polk and Washburn counties are impacted by these emergency burning restrictions. Emergency burning restrictions apply to the designated areas that are outside incorporated cities and villages in these counties. A map of affected areas and additional blowdown related information is available on the DNR website search the keyword “storm”.
Under these restrictions, burning of any combustible material outdoors is prohibited until further notice. This includes:
Combustible material in a burn pile or burn barrel
Campfires with the exception of developed camping areas within a metal fire ring
Smoking a cigar, cigarette, or pipe, except within an enclosed vehicle or building
Outdoor disposal of ashes, charcoal briquettes, matches or any burning material
All fireworks (restricted and non-restricted)
The burning restrictions are primarily due to the remaining debris from the July 1, 2011, windstorm, and above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation in the months since.
“With over 250,000 acres impacted by the storm in this area, we had to take a proactive approach by implementing these restrictions,” says Trent Marty, Director of Forest Protection. “We can’t afford a single human-caused wildfire right now within the storm boundaries, especially with spring fire season upon us.”
Even under normal circumstances this area of Wisconsin is fire prone due to soil type, vegetation and climate according to fire officials. Early spring weather coupled with the excessive fuel in the storm damaged area presents a unique set of circumstances that warrant emergency burning restrictions at this time.
“Our intention is that once emergency burning restrictions are in place to maintain them throughout the spring forest fire season,” says Marty.
DNR fire control officials will be adding to their fire suppression resources in the area by contracting four single-engine air tankers with dropping capabilities to help slow or suppress any fires that do occur. In addition, the DNR will add heavy dozers, a twenty-person handcrew and enhanced access to water bombers and helicopters from Minnesota.
For the most current fire danger information throughout Wisconsin and a detailed look at the areas under Emergency Burning Restrictions, visit http://dnr.wi.gov keyword “burn” and select the county of interest. Those impacted by the wind storm can also get information on alternatives to burning and salvaging efforts by entering keyword “storm.” Otherwise, residents and tourists are encouraged to contact their local DNR office.