DNR activates emergency burning restrictions ‘up north’Information from the DNR received Wednesday, April 4, states that beginning at midnight Friday, April 6, the agency is implementing emergency burning restrictions for the northwest Wisconsin counties impacted by last summer’s severe wind storm.
Information from the DNR received Wednesday, April 4, states that beginning at midnight Friday, April 6, the agency is implementing emergency burning restrictions for the northwest Wisconsin counties impacted by last summer’s severe wind storm.
Portions of Burnett, Douglas, Polk and Washburn counties are included, and the restrictions apply to the designated areas outside incorporated cities and villages in these counties. A map of affected areas and additional information is available on the DNR’s web site: http://dnr.wi.gov/forestry/stormRecovery.
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 result primarily from the remaining debris from the July 1, 2011, windstorm plus above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation in the months since then.
“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.
Marty said, “Our intention is that once emergency burning restrictions are in place to maintain them throughout the spring forest fire season.”
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 20-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 the DNR’s web site. 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.