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Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 -- 11:50 AM

Audio - 1:40

Yesterday, we told you the DNR had suspended burning permits for fire protection areas in West Central and Central Wisconsin, today they've issued another warning concerning the tinderbox conditions.

The DNR has issued a ?Red Flag Forest Fire Alert? for today for parts of Clark, Eau Claire, Jackson, Monroe, Portage, Marathon, Wood, Juneau, and Adams Counties. It also includes the township of Newport in Columbia County and the townships of Delton and Dellona in Sauk County.

Officials says the warm, breezy and extremely dry conditions make large forest fires possible.

?We have potential for large fires,? says Randy Schott, the Area Forestry Leader based in Black River Falls. ?It?s just an alert to the public.?

Rangers Monday cancelled all burning permits and are now urging extreme caution in all outdoor activities.

They request no campfires be made, people refrain from smoking in woody or grassy areas, and that persons thoroughly soak wood ashes or any ashes from charcoal grills prior to disposal. They also recommend that wood-cutting operations be suspended.

But Schott says a key component of the alert is cooperation from the public in reporting illegal burning.

?If folks see something, they should call their fire department officials or their DNR rangers,? Schott encourages. ?We want to be proactive and eliminate these fire causes. The eyes the public has out there can help us.?

There have been a few recent wildfires in the area including one in the Jackson County Town of Cleveland Monday.

This Red Flag Forest Fire Alert will remain in effect until 8 p.m. today.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.