Gov. Evers Declares State of Emergency Due to Elevated Wildfire Conditions

Early on Wednesday, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #191 to declare a state of emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions throughout the state. The fire danger risk in southern portions of the state has increased to Extreme in a 24-hour period.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), with the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for Wednesday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A Red Flag Warning is issued when weather factors create especially dangerous wildland fire conditions. The National Weather Service says gusty winds, low humidity in the forecast and dry fuels can lead to wildfires.

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“Protecting Wisconsinites from the destructive danger of wildfire is a top priority. Although northern Wisconsin still has considerable snow cover, the danger is extreme across much of the state today,” Gov. Evers said in a news release. “This executive order will give the Department of Natural Resources the ability to have all available resources ready to be quickly dispatched at critical moments to keep fires small and minimize damage.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requested wildfire suppression support from the Wisconsin National Guard. The benefit of the Executive Order will help to support the statewide wildfire danger and protect citizens and property.

According to the release, the Executive Order will assist the state in getting the Army National Guard’s Blackhawk helicopters to the areas of the state in most need of aerial fire suppression resources. Officials say the critical spring fire season in Wisconsin generally lasts through the month of May.

Executive Order #191 will also direct all state agencies of the state of Wisconsin to assist as appropriate in wildfire prevention, response, and recovery efforts.