Help still available for property owners affected by blow-downWisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials continue to receive responses to two post card mailings last month to help track the timber salvage efforts of public and private property owners in the three months since a violent July 1 windstorm that swept through northwest Wisconsin, downing trees in six counties.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials continue to receive responses to two post card mailings last month to help track the timber salvage efforts of public and private property owners in the three months since a violent July 1 windstorm that swept through northwest Wisconsin, downing trees in six counties.
The downed trees, if allowed to remain, present a significant wild fire hazard in one of Wisconsin’s most fire prone regions.
“We encourage all those who were sent a survey to fill it out and return it so we can better assist property owners’ Firewise issues, or the downed timber around their homes or cabins,” said Steve Runstrom, DNR St. Croix Area Forestry supervisor.
The Firewise program identifies and evaluates fire risk areas around a cabin or home and suggests actions to minimize fire risks.
More than 2,500 post cards were sent to property owners in high-risk areas. The mailings to all property owners addressed fire risks to their home or cabin resulting from the blow down and steps they can take to protect their property. A free “Home Ignition Zone” assessment by local fire staff was also offered.
To date 733 or 44 percent of the 1,670 post cards sent property owners of five-plus acres have been returned. Sixty-one percent of those responding declined assistance and 37 percent — primarily Burnett, Douglas and Washburn county property owners — requested forest management assistance.
About 14 percent or 156 of the 1,036 property owners of five acres or less have responded to date. About half asked for a Home Ignition Zone or a self-assessment form and about 50 percent said their dwellings were already Firewise or weren’t interested in a free assessment.
Approximately 110 property assessments addressing timber damage — totaling 1,650 acres — have been completed to date.
Between the two mailings, an assessment was requested by 155 respondents with nearly half completed to date.
The fire danger in the north and throughout most of the state is currently low, but Runstrom noted conditions, especially in the blow down are highly variable depending on weather conditions, which are currently warmer and dryer than normal.
A workshop for property owners in the blow down area will be held Dec. 3 at the Webster Community Center, 7421 West Main St., Webster. Hosted by Graceland Resource, Conservation and Development and funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, the workshop will include DNR speakers and information on a host of blow-down related issues, including cost sharing, forest management, taxes and wildlife.
The charge for the workshop is $10 and includes lunch. For more information contact Graceland RC&D at (920) 465-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.