With more than 150 wildfires reported this year, Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions throughout the state.
“Our first priority is protecting the people of Wisconsin and this executive order helps us control existing wildfires and use all available state assets to prevent new ones from starting,” Evers said. “With the Wisconsin National Guard, we’ll have the resources we need to appropriately assist in potential wildfire response and recovery efforts.”
Based upon weather predictions from the National Weather Service, Wisconsin could experience a period of weather in which natural materials will readily ignite and the resulting fires will rapidly spread.
Through an executive order, Evers is directing all state agencies assist as appropriate in wildfire prevention, response, and recovery efforts.
The order also calls for the Wisconsin National Guard to assist Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Department of Natural Resources in providing wildfire suppression, prevention, response, recovery, and other essential services.
Evers said the COVID-19 pandemic has created shortages of staff that would normally perform critical fire suppression management, ultimately making it more challenging for firefighting agencies across the state.
The largest wildfire was in Juneau County on April 18 which burned 234 acres. Aircraft played a critical role in slowing the spread of the fire so firefighters could reinforce containment lines.
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