Posted Thursday, September 6, 2012 --- 7:40 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Fall colors are starting to show in Wisconsin a little ahead of schedule.
Trent Marty, who directs the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Forest Protection, says the warm summer days recently along with the cooler nights help bring the colors out.
The Mercer area in northern Wisconsin is already at 30 percent peak and Medford and Hayward areas -- just a little south -- are at 20 percent peak.
Marty says even though there were heat and drought conditions in southern Wisconsin, the forests are in good shape. The northern forests had normal precipitation.
The intensity of the fall color season is dependent on the weather in September and October.
The state estimates fall colors contribute $5.5 billion to the Wisconsin economy through travel-related and equipment expenditures.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.
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