Earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency due to wildfire risks posed by persistent drought in the state. His executive order activated National Guard assistance to the state’s emergency management and natural resources agencies.
Rains this week are lessening the fire danger in Wisconsin but NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook illustrates the persistent risk posed by dry conditions and wildfire in the Southwest, Pacific West, and Mid-West through this July.
In such risk warnings, Firewise principles around the Home Ignition Zone can help you be more prepared.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jolene Ackerman, Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator and Firewise Liaisons with Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and she shared advice relevant for residents in Wisconsin and beyond.
Jolene explained that, “Elevated fire danger and drought conditions can cause the smallest spark, ember, or flame to quickly turn into an uncontrolled wildfire.”
She went on to importantly share that, “People are asked to be cautious with anything that can start a fire. We are especially concerned about people burning leaves and brush piles and ask that they put off this type of burning until the fire danger subsides.”
In drought conditions, make sure to talk with your neighbors about simple preparedness steps and take responsibility for your safety.