DNR: Southeast Wisconsin at high risk for brush fires

Posted at 12:46 PM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 13:47:11-04

MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin DNR says a large portion of Southeast Wisconsin is at a high risk for brush fires.

According to their website, the southern third of the state is in a "high risk" area.

While Tuesday is the last day of Winter, the season doesn't affect the burn risk. 

"While the ground might be saturated, a lot of the growth on top gets a lot of that breeze and is highly flammable," Firefighter Tom Konieczka of the Greenfield Fire Department said. 

Firefighters have been fighting brush fires on the sides of the road at a higher frequency lately. While some fires are getting out of hand from burning yard debris during spring cleaning -- others are from careless disposal of cigarette butts or other flammable items igniting the dry, dead vegetation. 

"It's assumed things are very wet," Konieczka said. "Nothing is going to burn and they forget how flammable that top growth is and how quickly it can spread."

The Greenfield Fire Department says you should follow general fire safety tips no matter the season.

"If you have a fire ring or something where there is a clear area around where it can't spread," Konieczka said. "Really put some thought into what you're doing to keep it safe. Think about if the wind picks up or if the fire gets out of control, do you have a hose nearby? A bucket? Whatever to maintain safety."

Different municipalities have different burn laws so it's best to check local laws before burning debris.