Fishing opener this weekend; fire restrictions still in effect
Wisconsin's inland-lake fishing season opener begins on Saturday, May 5, resulting in many tourists traveling into the storm-damage area of northwest Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) control officials remind anglers that emergency burning restrictions will remain in effect until vegetation greens and the long-term fire danger situation improves, regardless of any forecasted precipitation.
"With the fishing opener upon us, we typically see outdoor enthusiasts traveling from all over the state and Minnesota in the area," said WisDOT Northwest Region Director Don Gutkowski. "These individuals may not be aware of the fire restrictions so it's important that we let motorists know they are entering a fire restricted area.
DOT will have several mobile electronic message boards along major roadways informing travelers of the burn ban.
DNR fire control officials will continue to restrict the following activities:
- 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)
Emergency burning restrictions for northwest Wisconsin counties affected by last summer's severe windstorm began 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.
Spring is when most forest fires occur. The vegetation is brown and trees are starting to grow new leaves and needles.
The lack of moisture results in greater susceptibility to burning. The DNR will continue to monitor precipitation levels and the greening of vegetation over the next couple weeks to determine when the fire restrictions will be lifted.
For a map of the Emergency Burning Restrictions area and the current fire danger, visit dnr.wi.gov dnr.wi.gov keyword "fire danger".
For up-to-the minute traffic information, visit www.511wi.gov or call 5-1-1.