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5 Wildfires Reported After Early Spring Thaw

DNR Urges Residents To Use Caution When Burning

Zeevveez (CC-BY)

With snow cover all but gone across most of the state, the Department of Natural Resources is urging citizens to be careful when burning yard waste.

According to DNR wildfire prevention specialist Catherine Koele, the snow has retreated all the way up to northern parts of Vilas, Florence and Oneida counties, which means fire season is in full effect for the rest of the state.

“We have actually reported five wildfires for 2016 already, so we are definitely at that point. It’s that time of year when we’re going to see even more,” Koele said.

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The DNR hasn’t restricted burning permits in any counties as of yet, but the agency is asking people to use common sense when burning.

“The best thing that people can do, especially this time of year, is find out what the local restrictions are,” Koele said. “So, obtain proper burning permits, follow the rules on those burning permits, monitor the weather, do some self-assessment.”

This is the first fire season that DNR fire towers will not be staffed after the agency decided to cut the program. Koele said she doesn’t think it will inhibit fire-spotting, since most blazes are reported by citizens or from the air.

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