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DNR: Very high fire danger in southern, western Wisconsin on Tuesday

The increased fire risks cover nearly all of Wisconsin Tuesday, according to the DNR.
Due to the combination of low humidity and dry vegetation, the Wisconsin DNR has determined...
The Wisconsin DNR has determined that most of the state has elevated fire weather conditions.(Jimmie Kaska/WEAU)
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 9:01 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU/WMTV) - The windy and dry conditions ahead of the coming storm spurred a very high fire danger warning on Tuesday that spans all of southwestern Wisconsin.

The Dept. of Natural Resources published the alert, which stretches as far east as Dane and Waushara counties and as far north as Eau Claire and Taylor counties, on its latest fire danger map. The ‘very high’ category is second only to ‘extreme’ in DNR’s risk scale.

The rest of the state does not escape the danger, however. All but nine of Wisconsin’s other counties, all of which are at the northernmost tip of the state, are still considered to have a high fire risk.

A map showing fire danger in Wisconsin on April 12, 2022.
A map showing fire danger in Wisconsin on April 12, 2022.(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Full List of Very High Fire Danger counties:

  • Adams,
  • Buffalo,
  • Chippewa,
  • Clark,
  • Columbia,
  • Crawford,
  • Dane,
  • Dunn,
  • Eau Claire,
  • Grant,
  • Green,
  • Green Lake,
  • Jackson,
  • Juneau,
  • Iowa,
  • La Crosse,
  • Lafayette,
  • Marquette,
  • Monroe,
  • Pepin,
  • Pierce,
  • Richland,
  • St. Croix,
  • Sauk,
  • Taylor,
  • Trempealeau,
  • Vernon and,
  • Waushara

As of 8 a.m., counties with a very high fire danger include Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Jackson, Juneau, Iowa, La Crosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, St. Croix, Sauk, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon and Waushara.

The storm system that will move across the state over the next couple days is bringing low humidity and seasonally warm air, which is conducive to wildfires, DNR explained. The agency recommends against burning across most of the state Tuesday, and advised to take precautions with outdoor flames, such as campfires, to mitigate wildfire chances.

DNR officials have recorded 105 wildfires, covering 278 acres, so far this year. On Monday alone, they tallied 17 of them. In that one day, 121 acres of land were burned. This year’s numbers, though, are still below 2021′s figures. Last year at this time, 367 wildfires had scorched 1,512 acres across the state.

If you are unable to use the DNR’s burning restrictions, wildfires and prescribed fire activities map online, you can call 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) for information in your area.

FEMA recommends that each household knows and understands what to do in the event of a wildfire. Generally, here are some tips to be aware of in the event of a wildfire:

  • Recognize Warnings and Alerts: Have several ways to receive alerts.
  • Make an Emergency Plan: Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands what to do if you need to quickly evacuate.
  • Review Important Documents: Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents (like ID) are up to date.
  • Know your Evacuation Zone: Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household, pets, and identify where you will go.
  • Gather Supplies: Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, masks, pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk.
  • Stay Safe During: Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so!
  • Returning Home After a Wildfire: Do not return home until authorities say it is safe to do so.

More resources about wildfire safety are available here. You can learn about fire danger and burning restrictions in your area on the Wisconsin DNR website here.

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