DNR rates fire risk high in Rock and Walworth counties

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Frank Schultz
March 17, 2015

The state Department of Natural Resources rated the wildfire risk as “high” in Rock and Walworth counties on Tuesday.

In neighboring Green County, the risk was “very high.”

Local authorities—not the state—regulate outdoor burning in these counties, so anyone who is considering a burn must check with their local fire departments or municipal officials, said DNR spokesman Bob Manwell.

“Wildfire risks are high this time of year,” Manwell said. “Please, if you can, avoid any open burning, but also check with local municipal authorities to see if they have issued any bans.”

Municipalities often require burning permits.

The DNR's wildfire-danger list is updated by 11 a.m. each day and displayed online at gazettextra.com/burningrules.

DNR spokesman Bob Manwell said risks could be downgraded as soon as Wednesday if winds calm as they are expected to.

Rain—or snow—would help, too. Janesville's most recent precipitation was 1.5 inches of snow on March 3.

The DNR has the authority to issue burning bans in much of the state, mostly to the north.

On Tuesday, the DNR expanded its list of outdoor burning bans to 24 counties: Polk, Burnett, Washburn, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Iowa, Richland, Sauk, Columbia, Green Lake, Marquette, Waushara, Waupaca, Monroe, Jackson, Clark, Eau Claire, Chippewa, Adams, Juneau, Wood, Portage, and Marathon.

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