PESHTIGO - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued a red flag warning for Florence and Marinette counties and all burning permits are suspended statewide.
The issuance, in conjunction with the National Weather Service, comes after a wildfire in Douglas County in Northwestern Wisconsin has blazed through roughly 9,000 acres of forest. A red flag warning is when the combination of wind, temperatures and humidity provide ideal conditions for hazardous fires, if a fire were to happen.
"If any spark occurs or any small fire occurs, it can spread very rapidly and that happens with the strong winds, low humidities and warm temperatures," said National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Last.
FOX 11 asked Last, if conditions for fires are so ripe, why not issue a red flag warning for nearby Oconto County?
"Criteria are reaching those critical levels," explained Last. "But certainly, even though it may not reach those levels, the conditions are that any fire could get out of hand.
Many local DNR forestry crews stayed close to home, instead of heading to Northwest Wisconsin.
"We have what we call fire landscapes," explained Curt Wilson, forestry leader for the Northeastern District – which includes Florence and Marinette counties. "We have four (fire landscapes in the state) that are really intense – you're standing in one right now."
Wilson says a fire landscape is generally made up of pine and oak forests – premier tinder for a fire.
While it's not illegal to start a fire to keep yourself warm or cook food, the DNR is strongly discouraging it.
"What we're trying to cut down on are people that are doing illegal burning," said Wilson.
So if you have a brush pile you've been looking to get rid of, Wilson says it's "not a good idea."
Other counties not a part of the red flag warning are also taking precautions.
Outagamie County says debris burning, recreational campfires and setting off fireworks should not be done because of the elevated risk.
The county also wants people to be careful when getting rid of ashes, charcoal and matches until the area receives significant rainfall.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.