Brush fire concern

Local News

The Forest Fire Warden for the Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Company says it’s extremely early for them to respond to as many brush fires as they have so far this year.

Eight acres of hillside and grassland burned in Huston Township, Centre County Monday when a tree feel into a power line.
Port Matilda Fire Company’s Deputy Fire Chief Robert Prior, says this year the ground and trees are dry, causing a hazard for fires.

“We had a very light snowfall this year, didn’t get enough to wet it down and keep it wet down,” Robert Prior, Deputy Chief for the Port Matilda Fire Company, said. “The light winds right now have been blowing pretty hard, so it’s able to pick up and move very quickly.”

Michael Ringler, Forest Fire Warden for the Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Company says right now the fire hazard level is high.

(Michael Ringler, Forest Fire Warden, Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Department

“Even small areas that you wouldn’t think would be able to burn by throwing even a cigarette out in the mulched areas and that, that can even start a fire,” Michael Ringler, Forest Fire Warden for the Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Department, said.

Ringler says if possible avoid controlled burns, especially near a woodline.

“Where most people burn is the usually right along that edge, and once you start burning along that edge, it only takes a little bit to get into the weeds, and as soon as the weeds start, then it gets into the woods,” Ringler, said.

“Don’t burn until it’s right before a rainfall or after a rainfall, if you are burning in a burn barrel, please cover it,” Prior, said.

Ringler says to make a dirt line six feet wide around where you want the fire to stop. That will help prevent it from spreading.

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