By Christyn Allen
NORTH EAST, Pa. (Erie News Now) – As we get further away from the Winter season, winds are kicking up and creating conditions perfect for wildfires in our area.
In Sevier County, TN, near the Smoky Mountains, a wildfire has raged for more than 24 hours. At least 3,700 acres have burned so far. In Kleiburg County, TX, some 3,500 acres have burned as a result of one wildfire in the southeastern part of the state.
Seeing fires like these, local fire departments are already preparing for wildfires in our region.
“Last year, it was very, very busy. In Erie County, it was one fire after another,” said Chief of both North East Fire Department’s, David Meehl.
Fire fighters with Crescent Hose Fire Dept. say last Spring was relentless. “It was nothing to have 8-9 fires in a day. That went on for several weeks,” said Meehl.
Fire forester for our region, Jay Lindemeuth, says last year was historic for our region with Northwestern Pennsylvania burning more acres than anywhere else in the state.
99% of wildfires in Pennsylvania are human made. That’s why people at Crescent Hose say you have to take those extra precautions to make sure your fire is out before you leave it unattended, and the conditions are right before you burn.
“You just want to be aware of your surroundings. Where you’re burning is the biggest thing,” said Meehl.
Never burn in windy or warm conditions. Experts say the best time to burn debris and brush is early in the morning or at dusk. Never hesitate to call 911 if your fire is getting out of control.
“Call 911. Get the fireman there. They’ll need to know about structures nearby, how big of an area. All this information will help the fire departments know what kind of equipment they’re going to need.”