The Governor said dry conditions in wooded areas at this time of year can make it easy for people acting irresponsibly to ignite a fire that can quickly get out of control.
“Widespread brush and forest fires last spring kept firefighters scrambling across the state, and most of these blazes can be traced to human carelessness and March weather patterns that are marked by gusting winds and warming temperatures,” said Governor Rendell. “Anglers, campers and other state forest visitors are urged to help prevent fires that can threaten lives and property.”
DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is responsible for preventing and suppressing 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 that they are trained in the latest techniques.
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 private land; and threaten life, property, and the sustainability of our valuable natural resources; 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.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor