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MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers on Monday declared a State of Emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions throughout Wisconsin.
Executive Order #110 will assist the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by rapidly mobilizing the Wisconsin National Guard Blackhawk helicopters to the areas of the state in most need of aerial fire suppression resources during the critical spring fire season. The governor’s order also directs all state agencies of Wisconsin to assist as appropriate in wildfire prevention, response and recovery efforts.
There have already been more than 320 wildfires reported in Wisconsin so far this year, burning over 1,400 acres. Fire officials anticipate a slightly longer than average fire season due to early snow melting around the state. The critical period for wildfires in Wisconsin generally lasts through May.
“With nearly the entire state experiencing high or very high fire risk, protecting Wisconsinites from the destructive dangers of wildfires is a top priority,” Evers said in a news release. “The ability of the DNR to have all available resources ready to be quickly dispatched is a critical element in keeping fires small and achieving swift containment.”
Residents are reminded to avoid outdoor burning in open areas, particularly on windy days. Fires should never be left unattended.