Northern Wis. DNR officials prepare for wild fire season

By KBJR News 1

April 11, 2014 Updated Apr 11, 2014 at 9:45 PM CDT

Brule, Wis. (NNCNOW.com) -- Officials in the southern part of Wisconsin are on high alert after battling wild fires all week.

The fires haven't made it up to the northern counties yet, but DNR officials who work in Northern Wisconsin have been sent down to help battle the flames.

"We send people down as they request," said Forestry Supervisor at the Brule ranger station, Jay Gallagher. "There is a system that works back up on through to the north and we do it in a very organized fashion."

So far, the fires in Southern Wisconsin have not amounted to the historic German Road fire that ripped through Douglas and Bayfield counties on May 14, 2013.

While fire danger in the northern part of the state is low at this point, the conditions can change very quickly.

"When we start late with the snow, that means things happen quicker, they dry out faster," said Gallagher. "We'll go with snow for a couple days that we may still have holding over and then all of a sudden we will be in where things will burn, in particular the grasses the light fuels."

At this time there are no burning restrictions in place for Northern Wisconsin counties, but if people do plan to burn, they need to get a permit.

Fire officials say the most common way fires get out of control is when people are burning brush piles. They recommend having some safety equipment near by in case the fire gets away.

"Have water, shovel, a rake that you can put the fire out in case something does jump out of the fire ring," said Summit Fire Chief, Steven Fegraeus.

While there may still be snow on the ground, officials are prepared to respond at a moment's notice.

"All of our equipment is fire ready, we basically just got that all done now so we are set and ready to go," said Gallagher.

Starting on Monday, the Minnesota DNR will place burning restrictions over the central part of the state as fire danger is expected to increase as winds pick up and the snow continues to melt.

For more information about burn permits and restrictions for Minnesota click here

For more information about burning permits and restrictions for Wisconsin, click here

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com