Severe storms swept the northwest, northeast, and west central portions of the State from Friday, July 19th through the evening of Saturday, July 20th. The storms consisted of severe straight-line winds, large hail, heavy rains, and tornadic activity, resulting in significant tree damage on both public and private properties. Left unchecked, damaged trees can also result in major economic losses and create significant forest management problems. The DNR has been partnering with local municipalities to assist with recovery efforts by helping with debris removal.
In addition, the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry has staff available to assist and connect you with the resources needed to mitigate the damages that have occurred from the recent storms. Depending on the situation, local DNR foresters may provide a property walk through, connect you with Cooperating Foresters and Logging Operators that work in the area, provide you with publications and information or direct you to federal resources such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Find your local DNR County Forester by going to mywisconsinwoods.org/foresters/
Lower moisture levels in pines increase the possibility for torching pines.
A total of 51 wildfires burned in DNR Protection Areas over the past week, burning 86 acres. The majority of the fires were caused by debris burning, with several railroad and powerline fires. Four structures were threatened and all four were saved. One significant wildfire occurred in the Woodruff Area and burned approximately 40 acres before containment. Widespread rain is expected across the state into the weekend.
As starch and carbohydrate levels build up in our red and jack pine species, their moisture levels will drop significantly. Over the next week, we will be at the low point of this moisture level, and the possibility is highest for torching pines and surface fires transitioning to crown fire activity. There is also still plenty of dead grass and fallen leaves on the land that makes it easy for a wildfire to start and spread. Stay apprised of fire weather conditions by checking the DNR fire danger webpage each day after 11 a.m.: dnr.wi.gov, keyword “‘fire”.
Firewise Tip: Make sure your burn sites are completely out and not retaining heat before leaving the area!