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current fire danger and burning permit restrictions.
an annual burning permit.
current wildfire activity.
the wildfire risk of your property.
Wildfire causes
Smokey Bear's 75th Birthday logo

During 2019, we salute Smokey Bear's efforts to prevent human-caused fires. Happy 75th birthday, Smokey!

Contact information
For more information, contact:
Catherine Koele
Forest fire prevention specialist
715-356-5211 x208

Wildfire causesFireworks

Bottle rocket being lit and throwing sparks into the nearby grass causing a fire.

Most wildfires caused by fireworks occur during the weeks leading up to and after the July 4th holiday or under extended drought conditions. Wildfires can start anytime the ground is not completely snow-covered, but it is important to be especially cautious with fireworks and all fires when the fire danger is elevated and fires spread quickly and burn more intensely, especially in the spring and during summer drought periods.

Use caution

The reality is, all fireworks have the potential to cause a wildfire. While exploding and airborne fireworks are the most hazardous, even sparklers, fountains and smoke bombs can cause an ignition.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals instead of setting off your own. Always keep a safe distance and remember to never allow young children to use fireworks.

Before using fire of any kind in the outdoors:

  • know the daily fire danger;
  • obtain the proper permits;
  • choose a safe area free of flammable materials;
  • have water and tools nearby; and
  • make certain fireworks are completely out and cold before leaving.

Know the consequences

Enforcement of fireworks violations rests with local law enforcement agencies. Department of Natural Resources officers will enforce fireworks laws when the user has caused a wildfire or poses a direct threat of fire to the wildland. Anyone found responsible for causing a wildfire is liable for all suppression costs and may be liable for up to twice the cost of damages. In addition, the DNR prohibits the use of all fireworks on state lands including state parks, state forests and state owned public hunting and fishing properties.

Obtain permits

In Wisconsin, fireworks are regulated and it is best to check with local officials before purchasing and lighting them. Depending on the specific type of fireworks, a permit may be required.

In very general terms, if it "goes up" or "blows up" it most likely requires a permit. A user's permit to possess and use fireworks can be obtained from the mayor of the city, president of the village or chairperson of the town or their designee based on the jurisdiction in which the possession or use is to occur.

Last revised: Tuesday April 02 2019