Prescribed Fire Season is Nearing in Wisconsin
STATEWIDE – Fire crews around the state are making preparations for the spring prescribed fire season. Soon Wisconsin residents may notice smoke in the air, “Smoke Ahead” warning signs on the road, and parts of their favorite trails closed, among other indicators that the spring fire season has begun.
Each year, nearly 40,000 acres in Wisconsin are managed with prescribed fire. Most of Wisconsin’s ecosystems are fire dependent, so prescribed fire is used to simulate the historic fires that burned naturally or were set intentionally by Native Americans. In addition to using prescribed fire to restore a natural process, they are also used to reduce the threat of wildfires, stimulate native vegetation growth and seed production, improve wildlife habitat and provide valuable opportunities for training and scientific research.
Prescribed fires are conducted under a strict and predetermined set of parameters (i.e. the prescription) that often include temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, current and expected forecast and fuel conditions, among many others. Before burning, fire managers ensure that all the parameters are within their prescribed ranges so the fire can be conducted safely and the objectives can be met.
As spring arrives and smoke is visible on the landscape, please remember to slow down when you see those warning signs on the road…
The Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council is a coalition of government agencies, organizations, contractors, and individuals striving to make the use of prescribed fire in Wisconsin safer, more effective, and more widely accepted for all practitioners. For more information on the Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council, please visit www.prescribedfire.org.
Feel free to contact Michael Hansen – WPFC Education and Outreach Committee Chair at (608) 262-3289 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for further information.