MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin residents grappling with the coronavirus have something else to worry about now: wildfires.
Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday declared statewide state of emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions. The governor's office said the state has experienced more than 150 wildfires so far this year, including a fire in Juneau County on Saturday that consumed 234 acres.
The National Weather Service says gusty winds, low humidity and dry grass means more fires could break out in the future.
Evers' emergency declaration directs state agencies and the National Guard to provide personnel and resources as needed to prevent and respond to wildfires. The declaration notes that the coronavirus pandemic has created shortages of workers that would normally perform fire suppression work, creating challenges for firefighting agencies across the state.