News Release

**Effective March 27, 2020 all DNR burning permits are suspended until further notice**

What does this mean?

  • All DNR burn permits suspended and will no longer be issued (written or electronically)
  • NO burning debris piles in barrels, on the ground, grass or wooded areas
  • Small campfires for warming or cooking are ok but, strongly discouraged; burning debris in a campfire ring is NOT considered a campfire

How will I know when I get a burn permit and/or burn debris again?

  • Check website dnr.wi.gov, keyword “fire” and the DNR social media for the up-to-date status
  • DNR will continue to remain in compliance with department leadership mandates and recommendations and will evaluate wildfire and pandemic risks as the situation evolves

Why is this being done?

  • Spring in Wisconsin has the highest fire risk; debris burning is the #1 cause
    • After snowmelt and before green-up when vegetation is dry (March-May)
  • People are traditionally doing yard clean-up and choose to burn to dispose of yard waste, increasing fire risk
  • Increase social distancing/decrease person-to-person contact and decrease geographic travel of emergency responders and firefighters
  • Teleworking and reduced number of available staff may result in compromised emergency response and can result in rapid wildfire growth
  • Reduce smoke impact to those with compromised respiratory functions and firefighters

Are public services still being provided?

  • Fire and emergency response personnel are prepared to respond as usual
    • They are operating on more strict standard operating procedures (e.g., one person per vehicle, sanitizing equipment, precautions when interacting with others, etc.)
    • Response time may be slower (see above)
  • Fire detection measures include citizen reporting and patrol aircraft; report fires early, dial 911

What if I have a special situation/need?

  • Special burning permits may be allowed for time-sensitive reasons and with a site inspection (e.g., agricultural site prep or land clearing development)
    • Contact your local forester to discuss; please allow extra response time
    • You may be asked to video or photo the site and email or text images


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