As warmer weather arrives Wisconsin has entered its spring fire season, when the risk of wildfire is highest. This period lasts from when snow starts melting, until the land begins to green up and bloom. It’s important not only to be aware of the fire season, but also what role you as a resident play in preventing wildfires.

Eric Martin, a fire suppression specialist with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), says that a big factor fueling the spring fire season are the lower levels of humidity. “When the winds blow,” Martin said in a May 8 Zoom conference, “you can really see the fire danger increase and the potential for fires to spread quickly.” Other elements like rain or temperature also affect how the terrain dries out. “Our fine fuels that affect our fire spread are really at very critical dry levels,” Martin explained.

The DNR considers humidity values under around 25% to be “near critical or critical values,” Martin explained. Those kinds of low numbers shadowed the May 9-10 weekend. Nearly a month ago, a 200-acre wildfire was contained by the DNR in Juneau County. It broke out in the Necedah Wildlife Refuge, caused by the burning of debris.

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