Month: May 2018

Fire danger ranges from Low to Extreme

Statewide fire danger ranged from Low to Extreme this week, depending on progression of green-up and rainfall received; 68 fires burned 141 acres in DNR Protection Areas. The largest fire of the week was the “White River Fire” in Bayfield County which burned 42 acres and was caused by a campfire. The main fire causes this week were debris burning (e.g., brush, leaves, trash, burn barrel, broadcast burning) and equipment (e.g., vehicle exhaust, sparks from tow chains dragging, farm disking machine).

People are urged to continue to use caution with all types of outdoor burning, campfires, ash disposal and equipment use. Property owners are reminded to remain present when burning debris in a barrel or on the ground – should your fire escape, you can be held responsible for the cost of fire suppression and any damages resulting from the escaped fire. Clear an area around the pile or barrel and make sure a hose is attached to a working spigot. Wet down the burned area before leaving. Stay aware of the current fire danger for your area by checking our website: dnr.wi.gov, keyword “fire”.

Firewise Tip: Practice safe towing. Chains dragging on the road can ignite dry grass along the road. Use appropriate safety pins and hitch ball to secure chains. If you need to stop and check what you’re towing, do not pull your vehicle over dry grass – hot exhaust and mufflers can start fires.

Urban Forestry Grants application and guidance open for review

By Alex Elias, Urban Forestry Grants Manager
Updated guidance for the Urban Forestry Grants program has been posted for public input and will be available for a 21-day comment period. Guidance is available for both internal and external review from Tuesday, May 15, 2018 through Monday, June 4, 2018 on the proposed program guidance open for public comment website. Continue reading “Urban Forestry Grants application and guidance open for review”

Insights from the Wisconsin Urban Landowner Survey inform tree care outreach

By: Katy Thostenson, DNR social science analyst (Madison), kathryn.thostenson@wisconsin.gov, 608-535-7049

cover of briefHomeowners in Wisconsin feel the top 5 most important benefits provided by the trees in their yard are:
1) Beauty
2) Shade and cooling
3) Improved air quality
4) Privacy, and
5) Making their neighborhood a better place to live

This list of homeowners’ perceived benefits from their trees is just one valuable insight gathered from the 2017 Wisconsin Urban Landowner Survey. More than 1,700 landowners responded to the survey from Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau, providing insights about their attitudes around tree care, their concerns about tree risks, and their tree care behaviors such as pruning and planting. Continue reading “Insights from the Wisconsin Urban Landowner Survey inform tree care outreach”

Urban Forestry Consultant Directory – Annual update request

For many years the Urban and Community Forestry Program has maintained the Urban Forestry Consultants Directory, a document containing contact information and services provided by consultants who have made themselves known to DNR. Each May, we ask those listed to review their information and submit any necessary updates. We also welcome new submittals at this time, and throughout the year! Continue reading “Urban Forestry Consultant Directory – Annual update request”

Celebrate Arbor Day: Successes across the state

 

kids climb

Kids climb at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison

Like a child grows from birth to toddler to adulthood, a tree grows from seed to sapling to mature tree. As we nurture and care for our children as they grow, we must also for trees. This year there were several Arbor Day celebrations hosted across the state, all aiming to increase the publics knowledge of how to cherish and cultivate trees. Continue reading “Celebrate Arbor Day: Successes across the state”

Urban Forestry awards second round of grants

The DNR Urban Forestry Grant program awarded $64,641.14 to four Wisconsin communities for urban forestry projects, during our 2018 second round funding. In order to ensure a pool of catastrophic storm funds throughout the year, we have switched to awarding grants in two rounds instead of awarding all of our funds in December. The communities who received grants in the spring include Beaver Dam, Grafton, North Central Wisconsin Master Gardeners Association, and Slinger. Continue reading “Urban Forestry awards second round of grants”

Providing afforable trees to homeowners in Cambridge

Jay Weiss created the Cambridge Tree Project to supply affordable and interesting trees and shrubs to homeowners to help fund landscaping in Cambridge and Rockdale schools, street and parks. The program was founded over ten years ago with a couple of simple goals: (1) add 1,000 living trees to Cambridge Village forest by 2020, and (2) increase species diversity of the community forest. Cambridge is working towards these goals by consistently offering a variety of tree species for purchase. The trees are available to anyone, regardless of where they live, but the trees must be purchased at the spring sale. Continue reading “Providing afforable trees to homeowners in Cambridge”

Figure out when your trees will bloom

The Morton Arboretum is releasing information monthly on growing degree days. Plants, insects and fungi all develop at various times depending on temperature. Development will speed up or slow down depending on the rise and fall of temperature. Several studies have worked to understand the relationship between heat and development. These studies and information from them help anticipate flowering of trees and shrubs and the emergence of insects based on how many growing days have accumulated. Continue reading “Figure out when your trees will bloom”

Wildfire Report

Tractor plow on White Birch Fire in Dunbar, WI

White Birch Fire in Dunbar, WI

Statewide fire danger ranged from Low to Very High this past week. 88 fires burned 156 acres in DNR Protection Areas; 12 buildings were destroyed and another 30 were threatened, but saved with firefighter assistance. The main wildfire causes this week were debris burning and equipment. The largest fire of the week burned 27 acres in Langlade County, caused by a campfire.

People are urged to continue to use caution with all types of outdoor burning, ash disposal and equipment use.  Property owners are reminded to remain present when burning debris in a barrel or on the ground – should your fire escape, you can be held responsible for the cost of fire suppression and any damages resulting from the escaped fire.  Clear an area around the pile or barrel and make sure a hose is attached to a working spigot. Wet down the burned area before leaving. Stay aware of the current fire danger for your area by checking our website: dnr.wi.gov, keyword “fire”.

Germann Road Fire Photo

Germann Road Fire

May 14 marks the 5th anniversary of the Germann Road Fire that burned 7,442 acres and 100 buildings (including 22 homes and cabins) in Douglas County.

Firewise Tip: Are there any branches or dead trees close to power lines near your property?  Ask the power company to clear them.

Five-Year Anniversary of the Germann Road fire

5-Year Anniversary commemorating the Germann Road FIreWhile spring is always much-welcomed after Wisconsin’s long winters, seasonal warm and dry conditions can result in increased wildfire activity.  Northwest Wisconsin is taking a moment to highlight and remember the efforts that went into battling the historic Germann Road Fire as well as the recovery efforts still going on today by hosting an open forum on May 12, 2018.  There will be a brief presentation about the fire, as well as what the burnt area looks like today as the community and landscape continues to recover.

Tractor plow on the Germann Road Fire in 2013

Tractor plow on the Germann Road Fire in 2013

On May 14, 2013, logging equipment sparked the Germann Road Fire in Douglas County that resulted in 7,499 acres burned and numerous structures lost before crossing into Bayfield County.  Light rain moved through the area that morning dampening only the fine surface vegetation for a fleeting period.  When the sun broke through the clouds, the landscape rapidly dried out becoming a prime receptor for a spark.  At 2:45 pm, Brule DNR dispatch started a response that would last the next two days.  The fire threatened approximately 450 structures and destroyed 104, including 23 primary residences before being declared contained on May 15.

Germann Road Fire photo from the air

Germann Road Fire

One-hundred sixty-seven Wisconsin DNR personnel with 32 tractor plows, 5 heavy bulldozers and 100 fire engines worked feverishly to contain the fire, while 44 fire departments protected structures threatened by fire.  This was the largest use of aircraft for fire suppression purposes on a fire in Wisconsin’s history.  Thirteen aircraft including both fixed-wing and helicopters supported the efforts of ground crews.

Germann Road Fire PhotoIn the years following, many of the homes and buildings have been rebuilt, yet some remain as a constant reminder of the fire-prone environment in northwest Wisconsin.  Vast expanses of burnt forest have been opened giving way to new life on the landscape.  In areas where tall pines once stood young seedlings are taking hold and reclaiming the ashes.

Please join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff  and other first responders at the Barnes Town Hall on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 10:00 am until noon to learn more about the Germann Road Fire and the recovery that continues today.  Barnes Town Hall is located at 3360 County Highway N, Barnes, WI 54873.

Contact Ben Garrett, Wildland Urban Interface Specialist, for more information about this event. (715) 635-4088.  For more information on Wildfire in Wisconsin, visit dnr.wi.gov search “fire.”