Four state parks banning campfires due to drought declaration

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WISCONSIN — Four Wisconsin state parks are banning campfires due to the drought declaration and risk of fire.

The parks include: Southern Unit and the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, the Richard Bong State Recreation Area and Big Foot Beach State Park.

The bans go into effect at midnight Friday, July 13th and will remain in effect until there is significant rainfall.

“It’s dry. You can tell by how many people are looking for the word ‘rain’ in weather forecasts, including myself. The cured, brown grass will catch fire easily and will burn readily. We need the public to help prevent fires by being aware of current conditions and by following the burn ban guidelines,” Trent Marty, DNR forest protection director said.

Under Emergency Burning Restrictions, burning of any combustible material outdoors is prohibited until further notice. This includes:

  • all fireworks (restricted and non-restricted);
  • combustible material in a burn pile or burn barrel, including grass or wooded areas (all DNR burn permits suspended);
  • campfires with the exception of developed camping areas within a metal fire ring;
  • outdoor disposal of ashes, charcoal briquettes, matches or any burning material; and
  • smoking a cigar, cigarette, or pipe, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

Cooking will still be allowed but is restricted to charcoal cooking fires in campsite metal fire rings, self-contained portable grills, and permanently mounted picnic grills. Properties will provide a metal or concrete container to dispose of ash generated from self-contained portable grills and permanently mounted picnic grills outside of campgrounds. Gas cooking stoves will be allowed.

Outdoor smoking of a pipe, cigarette or cigar also is banned on these park properties. Smoking is allowed inside a vehicle with disposal of all burning materials in a non-combustible receptacle or ashtray.

Emergency burning restrictions currently are in effect in all of Crawford, Richland, Sauk, Columbia, Marquette, Green Lake and portions of Iowa, Grant, Dane, Adams, and Juneau counties. In these and in counties added today the restrictions apply to areas within DNR organized protection that are outside incorporated cities and villages in these counties.

View a map of the areas under emergency burning restrictions [PDF].

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