DNR: Expected rain won’t significantly lower wildfire risk in SE Wisconsin, people urged to remain cautious

WAUKESHA COUNTY (CBS 58) – Wildfire concerns continue across the state even with rain in the forecast.

On Friday, April 2, a wildfire in Menomonee Falls burned 230 acres. On Wednesday, April 7, the risk for wildfires across southeastern Wisconsin remained ‘very high’.

“The situation we are at is we’re just very, very dry,” Department of Natural Resources Cooperative Area Forest Ranger Marc Sass said.

The Menomonee Falls fire was the second largest recorded so far in 2021 and anticipated rain is not expected to significantly lower the risk.

“We are well below average on precipitation so far, so it’s going to take a little bit of rain, not just that passing shower going through, to help calm this fire situation down,” Sass said. “This year we are on pace for a very bad fire season, we’re about 100 acres short of what we burned last year, in all of 2020.”

On Monday, April 5, Governor Tony Evers declared a State of Emergency because of the elevated wildfire risk.

“We need that moisture to get into the soil,” Sass explained. “We would recommend if you could wait until your grass all greens up… when everything is green, that’s when our fire danger here is the lowest.”

Sass said 75-85 percent of wildfires happen in Wisconsin in the spring. You can check current wildfire conditions on the DNR website.

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