By Shereen Siewert

State and local officials are warning residents about the threat of wildfires as fire danger remains high throughout central Wisconsin.

In the past two weeks alone, 42 wildfires have been reported in Wisconsin including two in Lincoln County over the weekend, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

On Friday evening a grass fire was reported in the ditch line in the 1000 block of Hwy X near Merrill, and on Saturday, a grass fire was reported on Hwy G, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

When fire danger is high, fires can start easily, spread rapidly and are often difficult to control.

In the city of Wausau, recreational fires are prohibited when the DNR classifies fire danger at the “Very High” or “Extreme” levels, although they could be terminated at the “High” level as well, depending on wind levels and other criteria. A burn ban is not currently in effect in Wausau, but residents should use extreme caution when using backyard fire pits, which require a city permit.