PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Firefighters battled brush fire in Lawrence County Sunday afternoon.

It started around 1 p.m. near Shenango Township.

The warm spring weather brought about smoke and flames.

“There were flames 35 feet in the air,” said Shenango Fire Chief Dave Rishael. “It was burning.”

The flames spread quickly and eventually 550 acres were up in flames. High winds played a big part in the spreading of the fire.

“In Shenango Township, I don’t think I’ve ever seen on this bad,” Rishael said. “I’ve seen other big grass fires, woodland fires, but this will be in the top 10. Trust me.”

In fact, it spread so fast and over such a large area, the only way to tackle it was by air.

No houses burned in the blaze, but emergency responders say there were about 25 houses in close proximity that could have been evacuated.

“We had an engine at each residence to make sure that nothing caught on fire or was destroyed,” Risheal said.

Experts say because everything is still brown, leaves haven’t really started to bud yet and the ground is very dry — so fire conditions were ripe.

No injuries were reported.

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