Residents in Northern Wisconsin are being cautioned about severe fire danger. In conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, the National Weather Service has issued what it calls a Red Flag Warning until 7 p.m. Monday, May 23 for Ashland, Iron, Price, Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Florence, Oconto, Marinette and Menominee counties.
A Red Flag Warning is issued when a variety of weather factors come together to create especially dangerous wildland fire conditions. Warm temperatures, low humidity, high winds and exceptionally dry fuels are anticipated and can result in catastrophic fires. Fuel conditions in sandy soils and pine country are extremely dry and very receptive to ignition and large fire development.
As a result, the Wisconsin DNR is prohibiting burning with DNR-issued burning permits and is asking the public to be especially careful with any activities that could potentially lead to a wildland fire. Campfires, outdoor grills, smoking, chain saws, off-road vehicles or other small engines have the potential to throw a spark and ignite a dangerous and destructive fire. Please use extreme caution during these unusually dangerous conditions.
Citizens are also being asked to double check campfires or debris piles from over the weekend as they may smolder, rekindle, escape and start a wildfire today.
All fire suppression resources around the state will be high alert to support the north. Fire activity has been increasing over the last week with 23 fires over the weekend alone. In 2016, fire reports indicate a total of 482 wildfires burned.
Much of the northern half of the state continues to be very high to extreme fire danger and the areas where the DNR sets burning restrictions are expected to suspend vegetative debris burning today until conditions improve. Continue to monitor the current fire danger, burning restrictions and daily fire activity at DNR.wi.gov keyword “fire.”