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April 29, 2014

MADISON - The old saying "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes," can be especially true in Wisconsin, and state forestry officials caution that can have devastating consequences during wildfire seasons.

"Our conditions in the spring can go from wet and snowy one day to dry and windy the next," said Jolene Ackerman community wildfire prevention specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "This range in conditions can often leave people confused as to how spring can be prime wildfire season in our state."

Clearing confusion and promoting community-wide projects to reduce wildfire risk is the reason for the first-ever National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (exit DNR), launched by the Massachusetts-based nonprofit National Fire Protection Association dedicated to fire prevention and public safety.

Ackerman said the May 3 national day is to bring awareness to the high fire risk in spring and to teach people how to live compatibly with nature when they live or own property in wildland areas. Homeowners are encouraged to join others throughout the nation to take little actions that will make big changes when it comes to Wisconsin's wildfire season.

Wisconsin's springs are marked by an abundance of dead vegetation that was last year's leaves, pine needles, grass, and food crops. "This dead vegetation cannot hold moisture and once it's dry, it will easily ignite and carry fire," she said.

Only have an hour? Here are some things Ackerman says can easily accomplished with a little time:

Want to give back to your community?

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jolene Ackerman, DNR community fire prevention specialist, (608) 267-7677; Joanne M. Haas Public Affairs Manager, 608-209-8147

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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