Did you know these things about fire season? |

Spring is the most critical fire season in Wisconsin

March through May, Wisconsin’s snowline recedes, winds and temperatures increase and plenty of brown grasses, pine needles and leaf litter are receptive to fire across the landscape. This combination is the perfect cocktail for wildfires to prevent. Add people who do the spring cleaning around their property by burning garden debris to the mix, which results in many veld fires.

Weather planning

For most of us, planning for the weather on any given day can mean getting dressed in layers or wearing an umbrella. Measuring the width of the brown band on a woolly bear caterpillar is considered by some to be more reliable than the TV meteorologist.

Weather planning is taking on a whole new meaning for the men and women involved in wildfire management. They measure various aspects of weather to help determine the likelihood of a wildfire and predict how it will behave.

Fire specialists consider the three main characteristics of temperature, wind speed and relative humidity. Weather stations are set up across the state to record these weather features. These measurements are used to determine staff levels, equipment pre-positioning and whether or not fire permits will be suspended.

Wildfires can be prevented

There are many possible causes of wildfires: burning debris, equipment, vehicles, campfires, fireworks, ash removal, power lines and railroads. These are just some of the major sources of accidental fire. When working or playing outside, especially in the spring or when conditions are dry, stay aware of the day’s fire hazard by checking or dialing our hotline 1-888-WIS-BURN.

If you want to burn garden rubbish outdoors, make sure you get a fire permit first and go to the website or hotline to find out what the day’s fire hazard and fire restrictions are. Always keep water on hand while burning and never leave any fire unattended.

An estimated 3,000 – 4,000 wildfires occur each year in Wisconsin, with the majority burning in the spring. Credit: Wisconsin DNR

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