Burn bans in effect: Communities in southeast Wisconsin deal with extremely dry conditions

WAUKESHA COUNTY (WITI) -- Remember the last time it rained? It's been a while. In fact, it is so dry, most of Wisconsin is in the "high or very high" fire danger range. That has prompted communities in southeast Wisconsin to restrict burning.

Germantown is one of those communities affected -- and in the midst of a burning ban.

"Spring moisture is always critical," said George Radtke.

Radtke is part-owner of a perennial farm in Germantown. He has the horticulture know-how and will tell you plants wear dryness on their leaves. To preserve the moisture in the soil, Radtke's 60-acre farm is covered in wood chips, hay and grass. When the grass is dry, it has another name -- fuel.

"A small fire in this type of dryness will spread rapidly into a big fire," said Gary Weiss, Germantown Fire Chief.

But not only is it dry, it's windy. And when winds speeds pick up, the risk does as well.

Germantown's ban affects anyone in city limits. Basically, the only flame allowed outside is your patio grill.

"Once we get some rain, the burn ban will be lifted and people will be able to burn. It's a little bit of an inconvenience. But a little bit of precaution to save property and to save lives is well worth it," said Chief Weiss.

If you have questions about current burning permit restrictions and fire danger in your county, you're invited to call the following number: 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) or CLICK HERE to view an interactive map of the state which illustrates the same.