Drought could affect water levels, fire danger high - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Drought could affect water levels, fire danger high


The drought has already affected lawns and plants.

And if the weather keeps up, some experts say it may soon hurt your water supply.

It hasn't rained much lately and that means lawns are looking brown. That has leaders in Wisconsin Rapids concerned about whether the city has enough water.

"It's something to be aware of—I'd sooner be proactive than reactive," Wisconsin Rapids City Council member Lee Albrecht said.

Council members got together and discussed it, hearing from those who specialize in water. Those officials say right now, they're not worried.

"Currently, our water levels are doing just fine. We monitor them daily and weekly and they're not suffering at all," Water Works Superintendent Dale Scheunemann said.

But that could change. And if it does, the city could put limits on how much water can be used.

"If the weather keeps up we may have to go to banning, but there's currently no problem with that," Scheunemann said.

"No, we don't have a problem. But another thirty days or so we will," Albrecht said.

There may be enough water for now, but fire danger in Wood County is high. That means fires can easily start and quickly spread.

"The big thing is don't get complacent. It may be raining, but it only takes a day to dry out," DNR Forestry Ranger Brian Leubke said.

According to the DNR, grass fires this year are up in our area. They say typically in Marathon and surrounding counties, there are between 10-20 grass fires from June 1st until now. But this year, there have already been 74. There have been 42 since just the beginning of July.

"We're going to need a week of steady rain to get things green again," Grand Rapids Fire Chief Scott Bernette said.

And that's something many people hope for, to recover from the drought.

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