Fire management

Forests And Fire: If You Love The Outdoors, This Is The Career For You!

Have you ever thought about getting paid to help protect and manage our forests? Finding your path to becoming a forester with wildland firefighting responsibilities starts with loving the outdoors and, of course, TREES! If this field interests you, it’s never too early to start planning your career.

Besides knowing about trees and forestry practices, you need to learn about other parts of the forest ecosystem. We wouldn’t have trees without soil, so some foresters study soil science. And we wouldn’t have soil without rocks and wind and rain and ice, so some study geology and meteorology. And we wouldn’t have big bucks if it weren’t for properly managed forests, so knowing about birds, insects and all kinds of animals is also important for foresters.

Continue reading “Forests And Fire: If You Love The Outdoors, This Is The Career For You!”

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.

Continue reading “Did You Know These Things About Fire Season?”

Know Your Wildfire Risk

Research shows that both homes and their immediate surroundings play a critical role in a home surviving a wildfire. Your home’s building materials, design and landscape choices can increase risks of your home igniting during a wildfire. If a wildfire burns near your home, its intensity can be reduced or even stopped if “fuel” on your property is managed.

To prepare your home and the area around your home,  start with the house and then move into the landscaping. The “home ignition zone” is your home and surroundings out 100-200 feet. Often, a person’s home ignition zone overlaps with their neighbor’s property. In those cases, it’s important to work together to reduce the shared wildfire risk.

Consider these wildfire risk reduction home and landscape guidelines to reduce or change the fuels in your home ignition zone.

Continue reading “Know Your Wildfire Risk”

Fire: Keep It Safe – Keep It Clean

State regulations allow individual households to burn small amounts of dry, household rubbish which includes only unrecyclable paper and cardboard, natural fibers, clean, untreated wood and similar materials, and small quantities of dry leaves and plant clippings unless prohibited by local ordinance.

However, fire officials caution that the open burning of many materials produce a variety of air pollutants that is unhealthy for your or your neighbors to inhale. In addition, debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin, accounting for nearly 30% of the state’s wildfires each year.

If burning is the only option for yard waste, burning permits may be required to burn yard debris piles or for broadcast burning any time the ground is not entirely snow-covered. Permits ensure legal and responsible burning with minimal wildfire risk.

Continue reading “Fire: Keep It Safe – Keep It Clean”

Will A Fire Truck Fit Down Your Driveway?

In the event of a wildfire in your area, firefighters may need to reach your home. If firefighters cannot safely access your home, they will find an alternative way to get to you that may take longer – and when fighting fire, every second counts.

Help Firefighters Reach You

You are the first line of defense when it comes to helping your home survive a wildfire. To enable firefighters and other emergency vehicles to locate and reach your residence quickly it’s important to establish a safe route with adequate driveway access.

Continue reading “Will A Fire Truck Fit Down Your Driveway?”

Wisconsin Wildfire Season: Check Fire Danger

WILDFIRE REPORT FOR APRIL 22, 2021

Wisconsin Wildfire Season: Check Fire Danger

Spring is the peak wildfire season in Wisconsin, and we all play a part in reducing wildfire risk. This time of year, there is still a great deal of dead vegetation that dries out quickly and is available fuel for a wildfire.

Low relative humidity, warm temps, and gusty winds quickly drive up the fire danger. Light rain will only temporarily reduce the fire risk. Currently, the pine trees are beginning to candle and pollen cones are becoming visible. Pine trees are the most flammable tree type in the Great Lakes region and candling and pollen production coincides with the time of year when the risk for crown fires in tree tops is greatest.

Since March 1, DNR firefighters have responded to 441 wildfires. The fires have burned 1,584 acres and destroyed 32 buildings. Almost half of the fires have been caused by debris burning (e.g., brush, trash, burn barrel use, etc.). Equipment is the second leading cause, with fires being ignited by vehicles and sparks. Other causes included power line, improper ash disposal, campfires, railroads, and incendiary.

Whether you’re out fishing, hunting, camping, doing yard work, or looking for mushrooms, exercise caution and be aware of current conditions. Fire danger can vary greatly from one day to the next this time of the year, depending on weather and dryness of the vegetation.

Burning permits are frequently suspended. Check our burning restrictions page for current statewide fire danger and burning permit restrictions. Curious about where wildfires are actively burning? Check out our fire activity webpage.

Elevated Wildfire Risk: Firefighters ask for public’s help by not burning

Thirty-five wildfires burned in Wisconsin over the last week and elevated fire danger expected this weekend over most of the state (4/17-4/19).  A good reminder that, we work for you— so, please avoid burning for us!

Wildland Firefighters go to work for you. Please avoid bruning for them.

Firefighters need your help, as we enter the peak of Wisconsin’s wildfire season. Responding to a wildfire increases the risk of COVID-19 exposure through crowding of resources and geographic travel of emergency responders and firefighters.  Many DNR firefighters and fire departments are at home working or supporting loved ones. These challenges may reduce the availability of firefighters to operate fire suppression equipment and hinder emergency response time, resulting in rapid fire growth.  In addition, smoke from wildfires or debris burning worsens coronavirus risk, putting firefighters and the public in extra danger.

In DNR protection areas, burning permits for debris burning on the ground or in burn barrels are suspended until further notice.  If the ground is completely snow-covered and will remain so for the duration of the burn, a DNR burn permit is NOT required.  Therefore, you can burn at any time.  After the snow melts, the burn permit suspensions will again be in effect. Small campfires for warming or cooking purposes are allowed, but discouraged at this time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  And, remember to keep an eye on the changing fire danger in the coming weeks: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/restrictions.html

DNR Annual Burning Permits are Suspended

In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, partners and the public, we are taking proactive measures by suspending all DNR burning permits until further notice. All burning of debris in barrels, piles on the ground and grass or wooded areas with annual burning permits in DNR protection areas is prohibited.  DNR burn permits are not required if the ground is completely snow-covered. Campfires for warming and cooking are okay, though strongly discouraged.

WI DNR Burning Permits SuspendedSpring in Wisconsin has the highest fire risk and debris burning is the #1 cause. Eliminating ignition sources on the landscape reduces wildfire risk, smoke for vulnerable populations and person-to-person contact. Being on the front line, emergency responders and firefighters have an increased need to take pandemic precautions, so they remain available to continue to protect the public from wildfires and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

What does it mean for YOU when we say DNR burning permits are suspended?

By state statute, DNR fire restrictions only cover parts of the state. In others, local fire departments are responsible. When the DNR suspends burning permits, they are only suspended for the areas we cover.

If you plan to burn in a location outside of the DNR’s fire protection area, it is your responsibility to check with you local fire department to see if there are any restrictions. Many communities outside of DNR protection areas are also prohibiting the burning of debris at this time.
For the current fire danger and fire restrictions: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/restrictions.html

DNR Forest FIre Protection Map

Fireworks can cause wildfires

Fireworks can cause wildfires.  Don's let your fun turn into flames.Forestry officials suggest caution with fireworks
By: Amy Luebke, DNR

Each year the use of both legal and illegal fireworks causes wildfires in Wisconsin.  Anyone using legal fireworks should do so only in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and shrubbery and should have water or a fire extinguisher handy.  Remember that wildfires can occur anytime the ground is not snow covered.  Make sure you are aware of your local weather conditions and plan accordingly.  Fireworks can cause wildfires.  Don’t let your fun turn into flames!

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.”