Wildfire Threat As Snow Gone And Things Haven't Greened Up Yet

Apr 10, 2017

Credit en.wikipedia.org

The time after the snow leaves is one of the peak times for wildfires to break out in Wisconsin and a fire suppression expert says the public is instrumental in preventing them. The DNR has suspended burning in many parts of Wisconsin.

Wildfire Prevention Specialist, Catherine Koele, says the fire danger rose to high as the warmer weather moved in....

"....compared to last year we've already doubled the number of fires we see historically. It's definitely an early season. It depends when the snow cover disappears and before green up. Little bit of an early start and see how things are going. From a numbers standpoint, most of these fires are pretty small, about an acre in size. Our folks can get to them and put them out pretty quick...."

Koele says almost all of the fires are caused by people....

"...the majority are folks burning brush, leaves, pine needles. The take home message here is get a permit, follow the restrictions on the permit, and make sure your fire is out. It's really about burning on a different day. Hold off until(dry) conditions subside..."

One of the greater concerns this year is the rising number of unmanned aircraft systems or 'drones' in the air...

"..alot of folks got drones for Christmas and it's a big concern in the fire world. One of our biggest assets are our aircraft and we use them for suppression and protection purposes. So if we do see a drone we'll pull all of our air assets out of the sky. That doesn't help us put the fire out if that happens..."

The DNR website has a number of links that give you updates on fire danger and burning permits.