TODAYS FIRE DANGER LEVEL
High fire danger means all fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours.
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett has proclaimed March 13-19 Wildfire
Prevention Week in Pennsylvania, noting that rapidly-changing weather can quickly
create tinderbox conditions despite recent rain.
“Even after periods of heavy rain, warming temperatures and drying winds can
cause wildfire dangers to spike almost overnight,” Corbett said. “There were more
than 360 brush and woodlands fires last spring, demonstrating just how quickly our forest resources can be endangered by acts of carelessness.”
Last spring, volunteer firefighters and Bureau of Forestry personnel battled the
more than 360 brush and forest fires, which scorched almost 2,700 acres.
Corbett noted that 98 percent of wildfires are caused by people.
“During dry periods, it takes only a spark to touch off a devastating fire,” Corbett
said. “When forest visitors are careless with their smoking or campfires, volunteer
firefighters often pay the price, answering calls and putting their lives in danger
battling fires that are many times preventable.”
State Bureau of Forestry statistics show nearly 85 percent of Pennsylvania’s
wildfires occur in March, April and May, before the greening of state woodlands and
Anglers, campers and other state forest visitors are reminded that open fires are
prohibited on state forestland from March 1 to May 25, and when the fire danger is
listed as high, very high, or extreme, unless authorized by district foresters.
Residents of communities in heavily wooded areas are urged to follow wildfire
prevention and suppression methods of the Pennsylvania Firewise Community
Program to safeguard life and property.
DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is responsible for prevention and suppression of wildfires
on the commonwealth’s 17 million acres of state and private woodlands and brush
lands. The bureau maintains a fire-detection system and works with fire wardens
and volunteer fire departments to ensure they are trained in the latest advances in
fire prevention and suppression.
For more information on Wildfire Prevention Week activities, contact local district
foresters; call the Bureau of Forestry at 717-787-2925; or visit
www.dcnr.state.pa.us (select “Forestry” and then, “Forest Fire Protection”).
Terry Brady, DCNR; 717-772-9101
Eric Shirk, Governor’s Office; 717-783-1116
Editor’s Note: The following is the text of Governor Corbett’s proclamation
designating March 13-19 as Wildfire Prevention Week:
PENNSYLVANIA WILDFIRE PREVENTION WEEK – March 13-19, 2011
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s bountiful woodlands and brush lands enrich the lives of
both residents and visitors alike on a daily basis, providing irreplaceable habitat for
countless flora and fauna species, a sustainable resource of timber and clean water,
scenic recreational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, though both are sustainable resources, woodlands and brush lands
quickly can be devastated by acts of carelessness. People are responsible for 98
percent of all wildfires, nearly 85 percent of which occur in March, April, and May
prior to greening of our woodlands and brush lands; and
WHEREAS, wildfires annually devastate nearly 10,000 acres of state forest and
even more private land; and threaten life, property, and the sustainability of our
valuable natural resources; and
WHEREAS, wildfire prevention hinges heavily on public understanding and
appreciation of these values. Precautions and vigilance must be everyone’s personal
charge, so that we can continue enjoying Pennsylvania’s millions of acres of
woodlands and brush lands, now and into the future. Communities in heavily
wooded areas are urged to follow wildfire prevention and suppression methods of
the Pennsylvania Firewise Community Program to safeguard life and property; and
WHEREAS, these commonsense guidelines aid the brave men and women who
serve as volunteer forest firefighters of our community volunteer fire companies
and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
THEREFORE, in recognition of the importance of protecting our woodlands, brush
lands, life, property, and our natural resources, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim March 13-19, 2011, as
WILDFIRE PREVENTION WEEK in Pennsylvania. I urge all Pennsylvanians and
visitors to protect our valuable woodlands and brush lands by being meticulously
cautious with the use of fire.
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on
this third day of March in the year of our Lord, two thousand and eleven, and of the
Commonwealth, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Tom Corbett, Governor