By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) – As temperatures fall and hunting and other outdoor activities begin, Pennsylvania is reminding residents to be cautious of fall wildfire dangers.
During the fall, woodlands and brush can become tinder dry in just a matter of days, increasing the chance for wildfires.
“With rainfall varying greatly across the commonwealth, a dry windy span of just a few days quickly can make wildfires a very real threat,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Amid the pandemic we know so many are seeking outdoors pursuits. Hunting soon will be popular and fall foliage is a joy to behold, but when the leaves begin dropping and drying, they become added fuel for woodland fires. Amid these conditions, it takes only a careless moment to ignite a devastating wildfires. We know debris burning is leading cause of wildfires throughout the state and more than 95 percent of Pennsylvania wildfires are caused by people.”
The warning comes as there has been little rainfall and drought advisories widening across Pennsylvania.
“While most Pennsylvanians are used to wildfires being confined to relatively far off places, these catastrophic events pose an escalating risk to communities throughout the commonwealth,” said State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego. “Increasingly, our state is being affected by weather patterns that turn fields and forests into accidents waiting to happen.”
With deer and small-game hunting seasons set to open, Pennsylvania is reminding hunters and other woodland visitors to be cautious with smoking and fires near dry vegetation.
They are also reminding property owners to consider the weather when burning outdoors. Burning should be avoided if winds and dry conditions are present. It’s also recommended to have a hose, rake, and shovel handy.
More information on wildfire prevention and county burn bans can be found on the Bureau of Forestry website.