Community Wildfire Protection Education
FALL CLEAN-UP JUST AROUND THE CORNER
While we see most Wisconsin wildfire activity in the spring, fires can occur any time of the year when snow is not on the ground. We see spikes in occurrence in summer during dry spells and again in autumn when the leaves fall.
All this dry matter can become fuel for a wildfire. Removing this debris is particularly important if you live or own property in a community at risk for wildfire - which the Town of Washington is. In short, these are areas where sandy soils, oaks and pine trees are abundant.
What can you do? Start with the area immediately around your home and work outwards from there.
- Cut back the flowering plants that have faded and compost the debris.
- Remove any dead trees, branches or shrubs.
- If you have evergreens around your home, look at how close they are to one another. Evergreens are especially flammable.
- Consider removing any trees necessary to keep at least 15 feet between the branches from tree to tree within 30 feet of buildings.
- Prune lower branches up and away from the ground.
- Bring your yard debris to our brush collection site located across from the entrance to the transfer station. It's open 24/7 until mid-November
TIPS FOR BURNING SAFELY
HOMES CAN SURVIVE A WILDFIRE
With fire season still lingering in the north, the DNR has reported 53 structures destroyed by wildfires so far this year. The good news is, 439 were also threatened yet saved with firefighter assistance.
To find out if your home or cabin is at risk for wildfire, ask yourself these questions: Is your place surrounded by oak or pine trees? Are your rain gutters full of pine needles? Is your lawn covered with leaves? Is there a Smokey Bear fire danger sign in your community? If you answered “yes,” you might have some work to do!
As we head into summer, grab a rake and gloves, and take a peek at ways you can prepare your property for wildfire. Avoid burning by hauling the debris to our brush collection site or compost the material.
For more information on keeping your home safe from wildfire Click Here
WISCONSIN WILDFIRE STATISTICS FROM 2017
Below are some interesting charts about wildfires in Wisconsin and Vilas County during 2017.
OUR TOWN OF WASHINGTON PLANNING UNITS
In the development of our CWPP, the Town of Washington was divided into 4 planning units. These units were determined based upon commonalities within each unit which incluuded distribution of developed areas and structures. We use these areas to assist in risk assessment and to plan for CWPP projects. Below is a short summary of each of the areas.
The four planning units are:
- Blackjack Planning Unit
- Carpenter Lake Planning Unit
- Chain O'Lakes Planning Unit
- Cranberry Lake Planning Unit
BLACKJACK PLANNING UNIT
The specific areas of concern are Anvil Lake West and Buckrun Road.
At over 11,000 acres, the bulk of this unit is in the Nicolet National Forest. Water comprises 1,000 acres (14%) of the total acres, and the northern portion includes the Blackjack Wilderness Area. Wildfire risk ranges from moderate at the southeastern corner to very high in the northwest. Both areas abut the Blackjack.
The first area at the southern portion is along Anvil Lake and consists of hardwoods with a balsam understory surrounded by densely populated private properties with homes that are set back a distance from the road.
The second area, Buckrun Road, at the southern edge is a 1/2 mile forest road with sporadic houses surrounded by pine plantations with balsam understory.
A large tower used by cellular and internet providers is located in this area. Both areas are at high risk for wildfire.
CARPENTER LAKE PLANNING AREA
The specific areas of concern are Deerskin Road and Carpenter Lake North.
This unit is 7,500 acres and encompasses the middle third of the town north of Highway 70.
Most of this unit is privately owned. The highest number of structures are concentrated around Deerskin, Carpenter and Tambling Lakes. Total water acreage is 955 acres (13%).
There is a high risk of wildfire around most of the lakes with smaller areas at very high risk. Overhead power lines are present. Many of the residents are seasonal and the properties have very little defensible space.
CHAIN O'LAKES PLANNING UNIT
Area of concern is Eagle Waters resort.
At approximately 6,200 acres, this unit encompasses the western third of the town. Most is privately owned land and includes many large well-known and high-end resorts such as Eagle Waters, Wild Eagle and Lake Forest.
A specific concern is the one way ingress/egress on Eagle Waters Road along with the high density of structures at Eagle Waters Resort.
Water accounts for 731 acres (12%) with major water bodies being Rade, Spirit, Finger, Harmony, Scattering Rice and Voyageur Lakes. Agricultural land is located in this unit posing a risk of wildfire due to machinery ingiting fine fuels.
The fire risk in this unit ranges from moderate to high. Concerns are population density, vulnerability of homes and fire protection capabilities.
CRANBERRY LAKE PLANNING UNIT
Area of concern is Everett Road, Cranberry Lake and Bass Lake
This unit is approvimately 5,200 acres and encompasses the middle third of the town. Two highly populated areas on a narrow peninsula south of Highway 70 have a very high risk of wildfire. Ingress/egress on Everett Road along wtih a high density of structures is a specific concern. Most of this unit is privately owned land.
Major waterbodies are Catfish, Cranberry and Bass lakes. Total water within the area is 1,300 acres (25%).
Concerns in this area are population density, vulnerability of homes and fire protection capabilities.