The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the National Weather Service have issued a Red Flag Warning for Thursday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for most counties in the southern two-thirds of the state — prompted by high temperatures, low humidity, gusty winds, and exceptionally dry fuels.
The Wausau Pilot and Review reported that Thursday was the second day in a row Wisconsin was faced with these conditions. Counties in the area will remain at Extreme fire danger and the DNR will prohibit burning.
The DNR just yesterday responded to 21 wildfires burning over 2,500 acres. Several fires burned in Juneau and Jackson counties, resulting in the mobilization of a DNR incident management team. The Jack Pine Fire burned an estimated 100 acres but has been contained. The DNR, under unified command with Fort McCoy, is also managing the 2,800-acre Arcadia Fire, which is nearly 50 percent contained.
FOX 6 News reported that crews fought the fire overnight and operations were ongoing today. State patrol is monitoring smoke on the interstate and will shut it down again if visibility or fire conditions warrant it.
The Arcadia Fire, which started at the north end of Fort McCoy, resulted in some voluntary evacuations. Three structures were damaged; the cause of the wildfire is still under investigation. The fire is burning in oak and jack pine.
Nearly 80 wildfires have occurred in the last week.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers yesterday declared a State of Emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions; his executive order triggers wildfire suppression support from the Wisconsin National Guard, which will assist with Black Hawk helicopters in areas of the state in need of aerial fire suppression. Executive Order #191 also directs all Wisconsin state agencies to assist in wildfire prevention, response, and recovery efforts.