Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brushfires Another Heat Risk

With the weather as hot and dry as it has been in Pennsylvania, the risk of brushfires is growing.

Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry Wildfire Operations Specialist Mike Kern says there were about 20 wildfires in the state over the holiday weekend.

“Over the summer we’ll respond to maybe, a ‘normal summer,’ I guess 20 to 50, so we went to 20 in a weekend,” says Kern.

Kern says dry spells like this can foster small fires that burn long, sometimes damaging tree roots. He says usually summer foliage is green and lush, and doesn’t burn well, but a heat wave can quickly dry up plants.

Kern says fires can happen as close as the backyard – burning debris, trash, or brush can become out of control. He says that machinery like brush mowers, lawnmowers, and weed whackers can also give off sparks that set fire to dry grass.

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