DNR bans open burning in six northwest counties
It's so dry in northwest Wisconsin that the Department of Natural Resources has banned open burning.
Permits are not being issued in Douglas, Bayfield, Burnett, Washburn, Polk and Barron counties.
Forester Mike Luedeke said parts of the region are 5-7 inches short of their normal precipitation so far this year and it's starting to show in the form of low lake levels, brown hayfields, wilted vegetation and dormant lawns.
Luedeke says there have been more forest fires in northwest Wisconsin this summer, something that normally ends in the spring when the grass starts to green up.
He urges everyone outdoors to be careful and campers are being told watch their campfires closely.
Luedeke says people could be required to pay for the costs of putting out the forest fires they start.
The DNR monitors about two-thirds of the state's land area, and they've had 1,285 fires on those grounds so far this year.
That's about 200 more fires than for all of last year.