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Dry, windy conditions make for higher risk of brush fires

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 11 2014 04:33:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 11 2014 05:33:50 PM CDT

Brush fires seem to be kicking into high gear across the region.

LOWER ALSACE TWP., Pa. -

Brush fires are kicking into high gear all across the region this spring, which officials said is the worst time for the fast-traveling blazes.

"Spring is the worst simply because we get the high winds and lower humidity levels," said Rick Gerhart, Lower Alsace Township fire marshal.

Gerhart is urging people to exercise caution during the season.

"When fire conditions are just right, a cigarette thrown… will start a massive fire," said Gerhart.

While brush fires can be caused by lightning or other natural means, many are the result of man-made fires, from campfires, to contained flames started to burn leaves or other tree limbs.

"They'll make piles of brush, they'll set it on fire… we'll get a wind, and before you know it, the fire is out of control," said Gerhart.

It's an unfortunate scenario playing out all across the area.

On Thursday, officials in Lebanon County suspected that burning leaves were what caused two mobile trailers to fully ignite at Eagles Peak campground.

Other brush fires were reported throughout the week in Muhlenberg, Windsor and Oley townships.

Officials said residents are encouraged to avoid setting fires at all cost. People with brush to remove are encouraged to take them to yard waste recycling centers or to seek burning permits in their municipalities.