Oak Wilt Awareness: *** The Town of Spider Lake is working to raise awareness of Oak Wilt.   Oak wilt is a destructive disease that kills red oak trees by spreading to their tissues and starving them of water and nutrients. Prevention is the best strategy to protect oak trees, and here are some best practices: Avoid pruning during high-risk periods In Wisconsin, the risk period is April through July, but it can vary by location and season. Sanitize pruning equipment Use denatured methyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or a household disinfectant to sterilize equipment between trees. Paint wounds Immediately apply a thin layer of wound paint or pruning seal to pruning cuts and other wounds to prevent fungal spores from sticking to the sap and infecting the tree. Buy and transport dry wood Purchase wood locally that has been thoroughly dried for at least a year, and avoid moving firewood to new locations. Create a buffer zone Dig a trench at least 100 feet from the last symptomatic tree and 48 inches deep. Remove infected trees Promptly remove and burn or bury dead or diseased trees. If possible, burn trees in place. Treat logs and branches Before April, cut infected oaks as close to the ground as possible, and burn, debark, or chip logs and larger branches. You can also process diseased logs into lumber or kiln-dry them before April. Tarp wood From April through July, tarp wood to prevent sap beetles from coming into contact with spores. Make sure the tarp is thick enough to prevent punctures and completely bury the edges.   For more information on oak wilt management. Please CLICK HERE.

Winter Fire Safety


March Wildfire News

March 2022

WINTER FIRE SAFETY: Outdoor Brush Burning

Winter may seem like a perfectly safe time to burn, but it’s important to practice fire safety year-round to prevent wildfires. When the ground is entirely snow-covered, burning is permitted in DNR Protection Areas without a DNR burning permit for debris piles. As soon as the snow melts, DNR burning permits are required again. Always check with local fire officials before conducting any burning, especially in the spring.

Snow amounts vary across the landscape this time of year. The southern half of the state tends to have little to no snow, while the north looks like a winter wonderland. Just when you think winter is coming to an end, there’s that one lingering snowstorm to make everything white again. Suddenly, spring is finally here to stay, and it’s fire season!

Here are some tips for safe winter burning when the ground is snow-covered:

• Gather and pile brush in an open area away from over-hanging branches.
• If snow is in the forecast, place a tarp over the brush pile to keep it dry and time the burn, so the snow around the pile keeps the fire contained.
• When ready to burn, choose a calm day (less than 8 mph) with complete snow-cover on the ground.
• Snow must be next to the fire and stay there for the duration of the burn.
• Notify the local fire department and dispatch offices to avoid unnecessary fire response.
• Place small amounts of crumpled clean paper into the brush around the base of the pile.
• Light the paper all around the base of the pile. Do not use the fire to dispose of household garbage, rubber tires, oil or other accelerants.
• Using a rake or shovel, turn the debris into the flames to ensure all the materials are consumed.
• Avoid standing in direct contact or downwind of smoke and never leave the fire unattended

Winter Burning

Remember, spring is the peak of Wisconsin’s fire season. So, plan ahead and don’t wait until then to conduct debris burning. Better yet, consider alternatives to burning; compost, chip, leave brush for wildlife habitat or haul away to a transfer site. To obtain a free DNR burning permit click here.