Wildfire state of emergency declared in Wisconsin

    Gov. Tony Evers gives his 2021-23 budget address (via YouTube).
    Gov. Tony Evers gives his 2021-23 budget address (via YouTube).

    Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency, as all of Wisconsin is currently at a high wildfire risk. A combination of unseasonable warm weather, dry vegetation fresh from the thaw, and low humidity has fueled these concerns.

    The executive order issued by Evers will allow the National Guard to assist by mobilizing its Black Hawk helicopters in areas most in need of aerial fire suppression. The order also directs all Wisconsin state agencies to assist in appropriate wildfire prevention, according to a press release by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    So far, there have been over 320 wildfires reported in Wisconsin. The flames have burned over 1,400 acres, and fire officials fear the season may drag out slightly longer than average. That’s largely due to the early snow melts, which have come with warming weather patterns. Wisconsinites are encouraged to avoid outside burning, including campfires, and to properly dispose of cigarettes and similar lit objects.

    “Outdoor enthusiasts should also use caution with off-road vehicles or equipment that can create a spark and start a fire,” the release states. “Keep in mind that weather conditions can change frequently and quickly become dangerous.”

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    Isiah Holmes
    Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, and other outlets.