WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions throughout the state by signing Executive Order #191.
“Protecting Wisconsinites from the destructive danger of wildfire is a top priority. Although northern Wisconsin still has considerable snow cover, the danger is extreme across much of the state today,” said Gov. Evers. “This executive order will give the Department of Natural Resources the ability to have all available resources ready to be quickly dispatched at critical moments to keep fires small and minimize damage.”
The National Weather Service along with the DNR issued a Red Flag Warning in response to the state of emergency, which will take effect on April 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Over 30 counties are under the warning, affected areas are outlined in the map below.
The Executive Order will allow wildfire suppression support from the Wisconsin National Guard to assist in rapidly mobilizing helicopters to areas of the state in most need of aerial fire suppression.
The public should be especially careful with any activities that could potentially lead to a wildfire. Campfires, ashes from fireplaces, outdoor grills, smoking, chainsaws, off-road vehicles, or other small engines have the potential to throw a spark and ignite a fire that will spread quickly. The public is advised to use extreme caution until the fire weather improves.
Most of the state continues to be under critical fire danger, with the DNR responding to nearly 60 fires in the last week. It is anticipated that the dry, elevated fire conditions will reprieve heading into the weekend with the chance of rain in the forecast.