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Low humidity, wind and heat driving up fire concerns in Wisconsin

Pine Lake Fire Department Facebook (2020)

Low humidity and gusty winds, coupled with a lack of recent rain, have increased the risk of wildfires in Wisconsin.

DNR Fire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele says it’s not uncommon to see a spike in fires if we have a drought.

“We’re still in the cycles of having these droughty periods like this year is a good example. Prior to this I think we had kind of a drought stretch in 2012 was the last time we were in this position. This year it’s been kind of up and down. We see a little bit of rain, the grasses green up a little bit, and then it dries out again so we’ve been kind of on this roller coaster,” said Koele.

Koele says 98 percent of fires in Wisconsin are caused by people.

Debris burning is the number one cause, but that changes later in the year.

“Debris burning typically occurs in the spring. When we get into the summer months and have an extended fire season, we tend to see equipment fires go up.”

Much of southern and central Wisconsin is in the high-fire risk category right now.

Forest and Langlade Counties are also in the high category.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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