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Contact: Michele Witecha, DNR Prescribed Fire Specialist or 608-333-3664

DNR To Continue Spring Prescribed Burns

A male with safety gear doing a prescribed burn in a grassy area Prescribed burns help promote ecosystem health by removing invading brush, decreasing dead grass and leaf litter and promoting the growth of vegetation. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that fire management crews will conduct prescribed burns on DNR properties throughout the southern half of the state.

Wisconsin has a rich history of periodic burns conducted by tribal citizens for land and wildlife management across the state. Many plant communities in Wisconsin, such as prairie, wetland, oak/pine barrens and oak savanna, adapted over thousands of years to fire and would now cease to exist in their ideal state without fire to restore the balance in these communities.

The DNR’s prescribed burns are conducted for the health of these ecosystems and mimic the natural benefits that fire historically provided. These benefits include removing invading brush, decreasing dead grass (thatch) and leaf litter and promoting the growth of native, fire-dependent vegetation.

Wildlife that use these areas benefit from improved nesting habitat, an increase in forage quality and abundance and higher rates of success in rearing young. To avoid negatively impacting rare species, DNR biologists and ecologists closely monitor their presence and emergence after winter and avoid burning in those areas once they are detected.

When conducting prescribed burns near roads or recreational trails, the DNR will post signs to notify the public. For your safety, we ask you to please avoid these areas while the burn is being conducted. The DNR also notifies local law enforcement and fire officials in advance about when and where prescribed burns will take place.

For a more detailed look at historic, current and planned DNR prescribed burns, visit the DNR Prescribed Fire Dashboard.

For more information regarding the benefits of prescribed burning in Wisconsin, visit this DNR webpage.