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Debris burning linked to several wildfires in Wisconsin in recent days

Burning debris in Wausau, Wis.
Burning debris in Wausau, Wis.(WSAW)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:20 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Nearly 100 acres have been burned in Wisconsin in the last week due to wildfires. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said 97 fires caused the damage.

So far in May, three wildfires were reported in Marathon County. Two of those three were caused by debris burning. The other fire is under investigation. Debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin, according to the DNR.

As of Monday, the majority of the state remains under high and very high fire danger.

When it is safe to burn debris it is important to keep the size of the fire manageable. Property owners are also asked to never leave the fire unattended. The DNR encourages people that burn to use lots of water to put the fire out, stir the fire, and return to the area after the fire is out to check to see if the fire has reignited.

Wisconsin fire danger on May 9, 2022
Wisconsin fire danger on May 9, 2022(WSAW)

With continuing dry conditions and high winds, the DNR is anticipating possible powerline fires and other causes resulting from unintended sparks. Many counties have suspended DNR burning permits.

Areas with very high fire danger today include Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Florence, Fond du Lac, Forest, Green Lake, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Monroe, Oconto, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Sheboygan, St Croix, Trempealeau, Vilas, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties.

Areas with high fire danger today include Barron, Burnett, Columbia, Dodge, Lincoln, Oneida, Ozaukee, Polk, Sauk, Taylor, Washburn and Washington counties.

Green-up is progressing nicely in the southern part of the state, but the northern part is still quite dry with lots of fuel on the ground like dead leaves and dry grasses. Although there is some rain in the forecast, it is spotty, and there are minimal chances of rain, particularly in northeastern Wisconsin. This, combined with wind gusts of up to 50 mph in some areas, put many counties, especially in the north, at peak wildfire risk.

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