Be Wildfire Aware

Fire season is underway in Wisconsin, the DNR warns.

Unlike out West, spring is the most dangerous time for wildfires in Wisconsin. After the snow melts and before plants, trees and grass turn green, fires can spread quickly.

Seasonal warm and dry conditions can increase wildfire activity. Wildfires can happen just about any time of the year, but historically, 60 percent of all annual wildfires in Wisconsin happen in March, April and May.

With debris burning the leading cause of Wisconsin’s wildfires, weather is the single most crucial factor influencing how fires start and spread. Temperature, wind, humidity and precipitation are the key weather components that determine the daily fire danger.

The 2022 spring fire season enters with drought impacting most of the state. The DNR’s fire control officials are focusing on the potential for statewide fire activity as the snow is rapidly melting from south to north.

Wildfires can start anywhere, especially where people live. People start 98 percent of wildfires, most often by burning debris in the spring when vegetation is still dead and dry. Fires also have been started by heavy equipment and vehicles, while lightning strikes have sparked a small percentage.