Wind gusts, dry conditions create high weekend fire danger throughout Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking the public to stay vigilant and avoid burning because of very high fire danger across most of Wisconsin.

A high pressure system will continue to bring dry conditions and low humidity today. Winds will pick up in the afternoon and may become gusty in parts of the state. This, in combination with warmer temperatures, will create near-critical fire conditions, especially up north.

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

All DNR issued annual and special burning permits for debris piles, burn barrels and prescribed burns are suspended today in the above listed counties where the DNR has burning permit authority.

The DNR says they have responded to 265 wildfires burning more than 440 acres so far this year. Most of these were related to debris burning, which they say is the primary cause of wildfires.

In an effort to keep Wisconsinites safe, the DNR is asking everyone to avoid all outdoor burning including limiting the use of campfires. Outdoor enthusiasts should also use caution with off-road vehicles or equipment that can create a spark and start a fire. Keep in mind that weather conditions can change frequently and quickly become dangerous.

Fire danger and burning restrictions change every day.

FIRE SAFETY TIPS

•Avoid all outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn permits for debris burning are currently suspended in numerous counties.

•Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawn mowers, etc.) early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours.

•Secure dragging trailer chains.

•Delay having campfires until the evening hours as fire conditions tend to improve; keep them small and contained. Make sure they are completely extinguished before leaving them unattended.

•Report fires early, dial 911.

Check daily fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR here.

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