Due to the COVID-19 Safer at Home order, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking proactive measures by suspending all burning permits until further notice to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.
Spring in Wisconsin has the highest fire risk with the number one cause of wildfires being debris burning. People cause over 98% of all wildfires in Wisconsin.
All burning of debris in barrels, burning of debris piles on the ground, grass or wooded areas is prohibited at this time.
Most debris fires occur in the spring after the snow-cover melts and before vegetation greening. Spring is when people are outside doing yard clean-up and then choosing to burn leaves, brush and pine needles.
Burning permits are required by the Wisconsin DNR in many parts of the state to conduct legal and responsible burning in the outdoors. Burning permits are also required by the Wisconsin DNR in DNR forest fire protection areas to conduct burning of legal materials when the ground is not completely snow-covered.
DNR burning permits do not apply within incorporated cities and villages. These municipalities oftentimes can and do create their own burning permit requirements. In addition, some townships may choose to be much more restrictive than state law and may not allow burning at any time.
Regardless of where people burn, it is the individual's responsibility to check with the local municipality for their regulations, even if a DNR burning permit has been obtained.
Emergency responders and firefighters have an increased need to take pandemic precautions, so they remain available to continue to protect the public from wildfires and reduce the spread of COVID-19.