Wildfires in Wisconsin have burned nearly 1,800 acres of land so far in 2021, more than all of 2020, with more than a month to go in the typical wildfire season.
"This year has been a roller coaster," said Catherine Koele, wildfire prevention specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, pointing to lighter than usual snowpack in the northern part of the state that led to an earlier start to the wildfire season.
"We were snowfree statewide a couple weeks early, especially in northern Wisconsin," said Koele.
The typical wildfire season starts in southern portions of the state and moves north, but this year it all started at the same time. Add in drier than usual conditions and Koele said the average-sized wildfire has increased from two acres to more than three.
Gov. Tony Evers issued a state of emergency order for wildfires in April, after large fires in the Milwaukee and Necedah areas each burned more than 200 acres.