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RHINELANDER — The Wisconsin wildland fire control program has introduced a more user- and mobile-friendly Web page for customers wanting to obtain daily burn permit restrictions and current fire danger information.
The new fire restrictions and fire danger page of the Department of Natural Resources website contains similar information to the old page, but is now compatible with all mobile devices and tablets. In addition, the page allows for greater map detail which will inform the customer if the burn location falls within areas where the DNR requires burn permits.
“Every year, we are seeing more and more web users and most of them now have smartphones. Technology allows us to get information into the hands of our customers instantly and this was the next logical step,” says Catherine Koele, DNR wildfire prevention specialist.
Customers who obtain annual DNR burn permits are required to check the daily burn restrictions prior to burning in the county where the burn will take place. This can be accomplished by calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) or online at dnr.wi.gov enter keyword “wisburn.”
The DNR reports nearly 600,000 annual web hits and 200,000 calls to obtain daily fire restrictions. “This goes to show, the public is taking the necessary steps to be responsible with their outdoor burning,” says Koele. “We set these restrictions for a reason. Our number one priority is public safety. One simple phone call or check on the web can prevent a wildfire from happening.”
Debris burning continues to be the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin. Burning permits, if used appropriately, are an important tool in wildfire prevention. They are intended to encourage the public to burn safely in the outdoors and are proven to be effective in protecting lives, property and natural resources from wildfires. DNR annual burn permits are no-cost and are valid for the calendar year.
“This time of year, we see many seasonal travelers visiting their cabins and conducting vegetative clean-up around their property. Most of them have smartphones in their pocket and this new page will give them the information they need to obtain proper permits and determine if burning is allowed, before striking the match,” says Koele.
Routine customers may need to refresh the link saved within bookmarks or on desktop browsers. To visit the new page, search the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for keyword “wisburn.” For more information on obtaining the annual DNR burn permit and preventing wildfires, enter keyword “fire.”