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High fire danger across nearly all of Wisconsin currently, DNR says

WCCO digital headlines: Morning of Feb. 26, 2024
WCCO digital headlines: Morning of Feb. 26, 2024 02:46

WISCONSIN — Nearly the entire state of Wisconsin is currently under high fire danger, nature officials say.

Fire danger in 69 of Wisconsin's 72 counties is classified as "high," according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The remaining three — Vilas, Forest and Florence counties — are marked as moderate.

"Lack of snow cover and and accumulated rain statewide are causing an early start to Wisconsin's wildfire season," the DNR said. "The forecast for the early part of this week indicates warm temperatures, low humidity and breezy conditions. On windy, dry days, embers from any fire, especially burn piles and campfires, can easily escape control and cause a wildfire if not properly extinguished."

READ MORE: Lithium-ion batteries to blame for 5 house fires in past 4 months, says Woodbury Fire Dept.

Residents across the state are encouraged to avoid burning outdoors until conditions improve.

The DNR said it has responded to more than 50 wildfires that have burned 160 acres this year so far, the majority of which were related to debris burning. Just last weekend, there were 15 wildfires burning 30 acres. Last year at this time, there had been just seven fires that burned about 10 acres.

Officials have suspended annual burn permits in 25 counties.

Click here to check current fire danger status.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, most of the southern half of the state, including the Twin Cities, is at high risk of fires. It's particularly bad in the southwestern corner, where the state DNR has classified fire danger as very high.

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