High fire danger across Wisconsin

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT
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SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) - The DNR is warning of very high fire danger across most of the state including northeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley. Officials are asking the public to stay vigilant and avoid burning.

The Suamico Fire Department demonstrated just how quickly fire can spread in these conditions when given the right fuel.

“Being that we had cooler temperatures in the last couple of weeks, things haven’t greened up, there’s a lot of dry debris out there. The fire can spread to an acre plus within a few minutes,” said Fire Chief Joe Bertler.

Warmer temperatures, low humidity and high winds are the perfect ingredients to fuel the flames which is why the DNR and firefighters are urging people to avoid burning this weekend.

According to the DNR 40 percent of wildfires are caused by people burning debris and there’s one big mistake people make when trying to put them out.

“The biggest mistake is not calling 911 right away. Let us respond as fast as we can, because what happens people try to put the fire out themselves and end of injuring themselves or end up getting burned or inhaling smoke,” said Chief Bertler.

With fire danger remaining high across northeast Wisconsin the DNR is urging people to go through a checklist.

  • Check burning permit restrictions in your area
  • Operate equipment early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours
  • Delay campfires until the evening hours and watch them closely

“Camping-wise, we ask that you extinguish your fire with water. Don’t just assume that just because your fire is out that it’s good to go. With the wind at night it could blow up some ashes and coals which could start a brush fire, grass fire,” said Chief Bertler.

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