Shawano and Menominee Counties are snow-free, implementing burning restrictions; fire...

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. By Central Office March 20, 2015

    Contact(s): Zach Hylinski, DNR Forest Ranger for Western Shawano County � Bowler Ranger Station, 715-793-4606 Joanne M. Haas, Public Information Officer, 608-209-8147

    The recent surge in warmer temperatures is moving Wisconsin into an unusually early spring that has the Wisconsin DNR gearing up for an equally early wildland fire season and reminding you to get your burning permit now.

    Zach Hylinski, Department of Natural Resources Forest Ranger for western Shawano County , says recent years have pushed traditional fire seasons into late April and May with late snow falls. "This year is looking to be very different and very early," Hylinski said. "As soon as the snow-cover is gone, burning permits are required in DNR Protection Areas."

    Here's where burning permits are required: In all of Menominee County and parts of Shawano County a burning permit is required anytime that the ground is not 100% snow covered. The areas of Shawano County that require a burning permit include the townships of: Almon, Aniwa, Bartelme, Birnamwood, Fairbanks, Germania, Grant, Hutchins, Morris, Red Springs, Seneca, Wescott (North of Curt Black Road. and East of Highway 47 and West to Highway H (Lake Drive)) and Wittenberg.

    "The fire season could be more active this year because Wisconsin did not get a lot of snow this past winter, which means less water going into the ground resulting in dry conditions," Hylinski said.

    Weather, burning debris can fuel wildfires

    Many people are eager to get outside and work hard to clear their properties of leaf litter, brush and pine needles so it looks good and is ready for the growing season. "Then, they burn this debris pile," Hylinski said. "Debris burning is Wisconsin's top cause of wildfires because of spring's typical weather conditions. Warmer temperatures, lower humidity and wind are bad conditions for outdoor burning."

    Many responsible debris burners obtain proper permits and conduct their burn, but neglect to make certain their fire is out before leaving - and fail to return to make sure the ashes are cold, he said.

    "All it takes is one hot ember from a property owner's debris pile to go airborne in the spring breeze and that spring clean-up job can quickly become a wildland fire no one intended," Hylinski said.

    More than 60 percent of all Wisconsin wildfires each year occur in March, April and May.

    Where to get permits & find daily burn restrictions

    Weather is the single most important factor influencing how fires start - and how they spread. In the spring, fire danger changes daily with the weather. This is why it is important to always check before you burn and to follow the daily burn restrictions.

    You can obtain your annual burning permit (free of charge) online at, keyword "burn permit" or by calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) to have it mailed or instantly emailed to you. You can also visit a local DNR office or designated Emergency Fire Warden.

    The daily burn restrictions can be found by calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) or online at, keyword "fire." Shawano and Menominee Counties are already snow-free and implementing burning restrictions.

    Penalties exist for anyone found responsible for causing a wildland fire. You could be liable for the costs it takes to suppress a wildland fire and potentially any damages. Getting your permit and checking the daily fire restrictions is a much cheaper and safer option. Consider composting your yard waste or hauling it to a transfer site.

    "Spring always is a much-welcomed season after our winters," Hylinski said. "With a little planning and dedication to getting your burn permit and following daily burn restrictions, we can work together and make it a safe one, too."

    To find out the current fire danger and any burning restrictions, please visit, keyword "fire."

    Last Revised: Friday, March 20, 2015