Did You Know These Things About Fire Season?

Spring Is The Most Critical Fire Season In Wisconsin

March through May, Wisconsin’s snow line recedes, winds and temperature increase and plentiful brown grasses, pine needles and leaf litter receptive to fire across the landscape. This combination is the perfect cocktail for wildfires to occur. Add people conducting spring clean-up around their property by burning yard debris to the mix, resulting in many wildfires. 

Planning For The Weather

For most of us, planning for the weather on any day may mean dressing in layers or carrying an umbrella. Measuring the width of the brown band on a woolly bear caterpillar is considered by some to be more reliable than the TV meteorologist.

Planning for the weather takes on a whole new meaning for the men and women involved in wildfire management. They measure various aspects of weather to help determine the likelihood of a wildfire starting and predict how it will behave.

Fire specialists consider the three main weather features temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. Weather stations are set up around the state to record these weather features. These measurements are used to determine staffing levels, equipment pre-positioning, and whether or not burning permits will be suspended.  

Wildfires Can Be Prevented

There are many possible causes of wildfires: debris burning, equipment, vehicles, campfires, fireworks, ash disposal, power lines and railroads. Those are just some of the major sources of accidental fires. When working or playing outdoors, especially in spring or when conditions are dry, stay aware of the day’s fire danger by checking our or calling our hotline 1-888-WIS-BURN.

If you wish to burn yard debris outdoors, make sure you first obtain a burning permit and check the website or hotline to find out the day’s fire danger and burning restrictions. While burning, always have water handy and never leave any fire unattended.

An estimated 3,000 – 4,000 wildfires occur in Wisconsin each year, with the majority burning in the spring. Credit: Wisconsin DNR

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