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UPDATE: April 12, 2023, 3 p.m. — The Wisconsin DNR has upgraded the fire danger level from “very high” to “extreme” for much of the state today.

Original story:

RACINE, KENOSHA COUNTIES — The Fire Danger level is ranking as very high in Racine and Kenosha counties.

In addition, multiple other counties in the southern half of the state of Wisconsin are facing the same fire danger level according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Those in areas where the fire danger level is very high, which includes Racine and Kenosha counties, are encouraged to be vigilant and avoid burning this week.

Forecast calls for attention

This week’s forecast, per the DNR, indicates warm, dry and windy conditions today through Thursday. Therefore, on windy, dry days, embers from any fire, especially burn piles and campfires, can easily escape control and cause a wildfire if not properly extinguished.

During a period when the fire danger level is very high, this can be dangerous. The DNR has responded to 34 wildfires burning a total of 45 acres in the last week. Fires were small due to quick action by suppression resources, however, call for the public’s tentativeness to prevent future fires.

Any fire could quickly start and spread in these conditions.

Fire Danger: Very High impacted areas

The DNR has responded to 34 wildfires burning a total of 45 acres in the last week.

Fire Danger: Very High areas impacted include the following counties in addition to Racine and Kenosha: Adams, Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties.

Burn permits suspended

DNR burning permit restrictions and fire danger vary from county to county, as significant snow still covers the northern third of the state and is keeping the fire risk there low.

However, due to the danger, the DNR is suspending annual burn permits in 19 counties due to current and forecasted conditions.

Avoid all outdoor burning

To help keep Wisconsinites safe, the DNR is asking the public to avoid all outdoor burning, including limiting the use of campfires.

Outdoor enthusiasts should be aware and use caution when operating off-road vehicles or equipment that can create a spark and start a fire.

Remember Fire Safety

Conditions can change quickly and become dangerous. The DNR urges people to “Be Fire Smart” by following these tips:

Avoid outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn permits for debris burning are currently suspended in numerous counties.

Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawnmowers, etc.) early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours.

Secure dragging trailer chains.

Report fires early, dial 911.

Check current fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website.


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