Listen to Smokey…He’s a wise old bear turning 80 this summer!

As temperatures rise and more people get outside early this week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks the public to stay vigilant and avoid burning because of high fire danger statewide.

Lack of snow cover and accumulated rain statewide are causing an early start to Wisconsin's wildfire season. Over the past weekend alone, the DNR responded to 15 wildfires burning nearly 30 acres.

The forecast for the early part of this week indicates warm temperatures, low humidity and breezy conditions. On windy, dry days, embers from any fire, especially burn piles and campfires, can easily escape control and cause a wildfire if not properly extinguished.

To help keep Wisconsinites safe, the DNR asks you to avoid all outdoor burning, including limiting the use of campfires and bonfires. Be sure to discard hot ashes from woodstoves or fireplaces in a metal container until cold. Outdoor enthusiasts should also use caution with off-road vehicles or equipment that can create a spark and start a fire.

The DNR is suspending annual burn permits in 25 counties where the DNR has protection responsibility. Check with local authorities if your property is outside the DNR's jurisdiction.

So far in 2024, the DNR has already responded to over 50 fires burning 160 acres; the 10-year average is three wildfires burning two acres. The majority of these recent wildfires have been related to debris burning.

Check before you burn. Remember – fire danger and burning restrictions change every day.


  • Avoid outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn permits for debris burning are currently suspended in numerous counties.
  • Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawnmowers, etc.) early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours.
  • Secure dragging trailer chains.
  • Report fires early by calling 911.

Check current fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions on the DNR website.

For a more comprehensive view of current fire activity, visit the DNR's wildfire dashboard.