Recent wildfires in Minnesota and Wisconsin highlight the threat to homes and property in communities across the Midwest. According to news reports, the Germann Road Fire in Douglas and Bayfield Counties in northwest Wisconsin burned 9,000 acres while just across the border in northern Minnesota, the Green Valley Fire has consumed more than 7,000 acres. Dry and windy conditions continue to contribute to an outbreak of wildfires across both states, and many homes and commercial properties remain under threat.
The Germann Road Fire is one of the largest Wisconsin has seen in the last couple of decades, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Red-flag warnings have been issued across most of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and residents are being urged to use extreme caution when participating in outdoor activities including camping.
Many local residents, however, have already taken steps to reduce their wildfire risk. Using proven principles for wildfire safety, 15 communities in Wisconsin and 14 in Minnesota have participated for several years in the national Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program. Located about 10 miles northwest of the Germann Road Fire in Wisconsin, Potawatomi Estates has been a recognized Firewise Communities/USA site since 2010.
A list of all Wisconsin and Minnesota Firewise-recognized sites can be found on the Firewise website.
Wildfire doesn’t have to burn everything in its path. A comprehensive Firewise tips checklist for homeowners is available, along with tips on how to reduce your risk.
Video from DNR in Minnesota on the importance of being Firewise.