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Close call after brush fire breaks out in Muhlenberg Twp.

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 21 2014 09:34:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 21 2014 10:15:51 PM CDT

Smoke, flames and wind left firefighters battling another brush fire Monday afternoon in Muhlenberg Township.

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. -

Smoke, flames and wind left firefighters battling another brush fire Monday afternoon in Muhlenberg Township.

"We saw a lot of smoke, saw some open flames," said Jeff Crater of Muhlenberg Township.

Jeff Crater and his wife Joan live across the street from where the fire broke out in the 2900 block of Mannerchor Road.

He says the flames were four to five feet high and he was immediately concerned about his property.

"The first thing I looked for was to see which way the wind was blowing. The smoke was blowing in the opposite direction down toward Laureldale, so I immediately felt a little bit better that it was not fanning this way," said Crater.

But for firefighters, their job was to jump into action to guarantee the fire was not going to spread.

The state forest fire warden says they have had significant calls for brush fires every day for the past week.

Despite the recent rain we have had, it is still extremely dry out here and firefighters say you need to be careful this time of year.

"It is almost instantaneous. If you hold a match to the fuel, it is going to ignite and readily burn, increase in size and then until it gets large enough for the weather to effect it," said Forest Fire Warden Tom Kemery.

Their biggest challenge is the wind. If the flames grow more than two feet on a windy day, it is an all out war against mother nature.

"Once the wind has control of it, then it is anybody's guess where or what is going to happen. It makes it much more difficult to control if the wind has it," said Kemery.

Firefighters tell us some young people discovered the fire, but they are still trying to determine what caused it.