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Brush fires around the county

Times Observer Photo by Katie Miktuk The fourth vegetation fire within two days in Warren County broke out around 2 p.m. Monday, Mar. 16 on Follett Run Rd. in Warren. Officials have now cautioned against burning and encourage those who do burn to do it safely and take the proper precautions to prevent wildfires.

Officials caution against burning as four vegetations fires have broken out around the County within the past two days.

Three of the fires broke out within one hour of each other Sunday afternoon, Mar. 15. Locations included Pine Ridge Rd. in Sugar Grove, Route 6 in Warren and Bush Rd. in Spring Creek.

The fourth fire occurred around 2 p.m. Monday, Mar. 16, at 2586 Follett Run Rd. in Warren. The owners of the property were allegedly burning outside in a burn pit when the fire began.

It took firefighters around fifteen minutes to knock down the flames that consumed only grass and vegetation. No structures or woods were effected by the blaze.

According to Jay Lindemuth, DCNR Bureau of Forestry Fire Forester, approximately one-tenth of an acre was burned.

North Warren VFD was assisted on scene by Starbrick VFD and Lander VFD.

Despite the Fire Danger level remaining low, there are still concerns with burning at this time.

“The biggest thing on days that are real nice and sunny and windy, refrain from burning,” said Lindemuth. “Wait until we get some rain showers or even while there is a little rain going on. Also, either burn early in the morning or later in the evening, not during the hottest part of the day. Because there are no leaves on the trees right now, it doesn’t take long for the sun to dry everything out.”

During Monday’s work session, Commissioner Ben Kafferlin reminded everyone that local emergency responders have been recently preparing for their response to the COVID-19 outbreak whenever it may come to Warren County. With multiple vegetation fires over the weekend and on Monday, Kafferlin discouraged such burning as it just pulls responders away from their preparations.

“Keep burning to a minimum,” said Kafferlin. “Do it safely.”

Within the state of Pennsylvania, 99% of all wildfires are cause by people, so it is important to take the proper precautions when you do decide to burn.

To reduce the risk of wildfires, before burning think of the weather, the Fire Danger level, the location where you are burning, the size of the burn, the perimeter around your burn, tools, supervision and extinguishing.

Remember not to burn on windy or very dry days and before burning always check with your local Forest District Office to inquire about the day’s Fire Danger. As a general rule, only burn when the Fire Danger has been determined to be low.

When choosing a place to burn, always make sure to be away from utility lines, overhead limbs, buildings and flammable items. Furthermore, keep your burn area small, no larger than four feet in diameter and maintain a clear area devoid of vegetation within ten feet of the burn.

When burning always have a garden hose, rake and shovel on-hand at the burn area and be sure that an adult is constantly supervising the fire. Never leave any burn unattended.

Finally, when done burning, ensure that you fully and properly drown the fire with water. Mix the water and ashes with a shovel and repeat that process until no heat is sensed by the back of your hand when held near the ashes.

For more information regarding the prevention of wildfires or to inquire about the day’s Fire Danger, you can visit the DCNR website, www.dcnr.pa.gov, or contact the local forest district office at (814) 723-0262.

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