Wisconsin winter prescribed burns underway on DNR properties
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Monday, Feb. 6 that fire management crews are starting to perform prescribed burns on DNR properties throughout the state where conditions can provide a safe and effective burn.
Officials say DNR crews will be burning cattail marshes and/or wetlands to clear the buildup of dead vegetation and open waterways for waterfowl to feed and nest. By burning in the winter, DNR staff take advantage of wet conditions and frozen ground, which reduce the heat and intensity of cattail marsh burns.
A news release says winter burns mark the beginning of the fire management season for DNR crews. Additional windows of opportunity for prescribed burning will continue through spring, and open again in late summer and fall (mid-July through November).
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Officials say planning a burn can take months and crews must be ready when the appropriate weather condition (or "prescription") is right for the burn. DNR staff make the decision to conduct these prescribed burns only when weather and vegetation conditions meet strict standards for safety, smoke management and burn effectiveness. Even after such careful planning, weather forecast evaluations, vegetation moisture measurements and staff trainings, each burn is reassessed on the morning of the burn at the burn site.
To view the status of where prescribed burns are currently happening across the state, you are invited to visit the DNR WisBURN page. For a more detailed look at historic, current and planned DNR prescribed burns, visit the DNR Prescribed Fire Dashboard.