PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s that time of year again, spring fire season.

It’s extremely dry outside, meaning brush fires can spark and spread in a matter of seconds.
Richland Township firefighters are investigating a brush fire that came dangerously close to some homes along Valencia Road.

“There was about five homes on this side of the railroad that could have been in danger,” said Richland Township Fire Chief Jim Kelly. “There’s also one on the other side of the railroad tracks that could have been in danger.”

The fire scorched a wooded area, nine other departments assisted Richland Township. One of those departments, the Adams Area Fire District has battled more than a dozen brush fires this spring.

“We had one in our own area that was over 12 acres,” said Asst. Fire Chief Talo Cappuzzi. “We had one in Cranberry that was close to 20 acres. This one today was rather large, not only are there more, but they are bigger in size.”

According to the National Weather Service, the ground is extremely dry after months of below-normal precipitation.

“We’re starting out with dry conditions to begin with, we haven’t had any real soaking rain this spring so far,” said Mike Fries with the National Weather Service. “Yeah, it’s going to rain tomorrow, but we’re not expecting a ton of rain with that.”

More dry weather is in the forecast in the near future, which increases chances of more brush fires. Open burning is banned in Allegheny County, but is allowed in other communities.

Firefighters are asking the public to be careful.

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