Burnett County and Northwest Wisconsin are in the midst of peak wildfire season. Gusty winds, low humidity and very little precipitation are all factors for a weekend of critical fire weather conditions.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) stated, “The northern half of the state is entering a critical time for catastrophic fire, especially in sandy soil and pine areas. Fires in these locations are starting to see increased fire behavior, resulting in fire moving from the surface to the crowns of the trees, making fire suppression more challenging.”
The WDNR was on high alert across the state this weekend. They had equipment in position for rapid response and had four contract tanker planes and access to the Wisconsin Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters with bucket capability.
Luckily our area was rainy over the weekend so the potential for wildfires was down considerably.
There were two wildfires in Burnett County over the weekend. One in the town of Swiss on Friday and one in the town of Blaine on Saturday, between the two a total of 4 acres were burned, according to WDNR.
Numbers across the county and state have been down for 2020. Last year a total of 357 wildfires were recorded by WDNR by this date and this year that number is down to 317.
In Burnett County there have been 13 wildfires to date and in 2019 there were already around 30 wildfires.
“Burning remains suspended with DNR-issued burning permits for debris piles, barrels and grass or wooded areas,” the WDNR stated. “We are also asking the public again to be especially careful with any activities that could potentially lead to a wildland fire such as smoking, chainsaws, dragging trailer chains, off-road vehicles or other small engines have the potential to throw sparks. Use extreme caution until the fire weather improves.”