Very high fire danger in 43 out of 72 counties - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: DNR says very high fire danger in 43 out of 72 counties

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By Brian Rodriguez - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

POYNETTE (WKOW) -- The Department of Natural Resources says more than half of the state is under very high fire danger.

In Poynette, the DNR's Forestry Division took us to public hunting grounds to show us how dry conditions are.

Brooke Hushagen picked up some brown grass and crunched in her hand.

"When we have extended days in a row without precipitation obviously fuels get really dry," Hushagen said.

That's why the DNR suspended burn permits for southern Wisconsin counties like Dane, Sauk and Columbia.

"When we have weather this warm and windy its the perfect storm," Hushagen said.

The Poynette Forestry Division says fire season in southern Wisconsin started earlier than normal. But what's strange, they say, is so did fire season up north.

"When we went in two weeks ago, getting dry, pretty much the rest of the state is pretty dry too starting fires," said DNR Forestry Ranger.

According to the DNR, 43 out of Wisconsin's 72 counties are under very high fire conditions.

In the northern third of the state,. burning of any kind is not allowed in unincorporated areas. That includes camp fires and outdoor smoking.

In the last two days, the Poynette Forestry team responded to 5 fires.

In the middle of our interview, they went to number six.

The message they hope to leave with people is, get permission before you burn and follow the rules.

"If at all possible, if you don't need to burn, don't do it this time of year," Hushagen said.

When burn permits are allowed, people can burn debris and brush after 6 PM.

That's when the winds die down and temperatures drop.

The DNR says a lot of fires start when people try to burn in the afternoon, one of the most dangerous times of day.

Fire season in Wisconsin is in Spring, typically from the end of March through May.

To see the fire conditions in your area, click here.

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POYNETTE (WKOW) -- Officials with the Department of Natural Resources say the fire season in south central Wisconsin started about two weeks early.

Members of the Poynette DNR Forestry division call this season rare, because almost the entire state is under high fire danger.

According to the DNR, burning of any kind is not allowed in 43 out of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

DNR spokesperson Greg Matthews says that's the northern third counties of the state.

The agency says northern Wisconsin's season typically starts a few weeks after the southern part of the state.

The DNR blames it on a lack of snowfall and rain.

In south central Wisconsin counties, including Dane, the use of burning permits have been suspended for the second day in a row.

Brooke Hushagen with the DNR Forestry Division says the state is prone to fires in the Spring because that's when fuels like grass, trees and brush are driest.

Hushagen says although some burning is allowed in southern Wisconsin counties, people should avoid starting any fires of any kind.

Brian Rodriguez is heading back from Poynette and will have full coverage tonight on 27 news at 10pm.

 

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POYNETTE (WKOW) -- The Department of Natural Resources says burning of any kind is not allowed in 43 out of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

DNR spokesperson Greg Matthews says that's the northern third counties of the state.

In south central Wisconsin counties, including Dane, the use of burning permits have been suspended for the second day in a row.

The DNR says the fire danger is so high because fuels like grass and brush are so dry. The high winds also make it more dangerous.

Brian Rodriguez is in Poynette talking with a ranger about the fire fuels, fire danger and fire safety.

That story tonight on 27 news at 10 p.m.

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