Gov. Evers declares state of emergency over wildfire conditions

MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Tony Evers declared a statewide state of emergency Tuesday in response to elevated wildfire risks.

The announcement came in a press release sent Tuesday from the governor's office.

The governor issued Executive Order #75 directing state agencies to help with "wildfire prevention, response, and recovery efforts." It also authorizes Major General Paul Knapp to call up members of the Wisconsin National Guard to assist.

“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.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has characterizedlarge swathes of the stateas being at high to very high risk for wildfires.

The release from the governor's office cited "over 150 wildfires in Wisconsin DNR protection areas this year" as the reason for the emergency declaration. Specifically, the order mentioned a 234-acre wildfire in Juneau County on April 18.

In a post on its Facebook page Monday, the DNR said "there were nearly 50 wildfires across the state" last week. Strong winds, dry weather and low humidity have compounded the the problem.

DNR encouraged the public to avoid burning of any kind when the risk for fire is high or very high.

More at WKOW 27 News

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