DCNR: Wildfires Increase In 2018 Over 2017, But Nowhere Near 2016
On February 21, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported there were a total of 690 wildfires in 2018 which burned 1,843 acres.
In 2017 there were 531 reported fires affecting 1,644 acres. In 2016, however, Bureau of Forestry personnel and volunteer firefighters battled more than 850 reported field, brush, and forest fires that scorched more than 12,000 acres across the state.
“Pennsylvania’s 2018 wildfire season was relatively short-lived in the spring, resulting in below-average instances of acres burned,’” said Mike Kern, chief of DCNR's Bureau of Forestry’s Forest Fire Protection section. “Heavy summer and fall rains resulted in an extremely low number of fires after July.”
Debris burning accounted for the most wildfires in 2018, with 424 incidents scorching 1,325 acres. A total of 58 fires, burning 146 acres, were labeled arson. Campfires, equipment use, fireworks, and smoking accounted for 72 wildfires throughout the state.
DCNR statistics show nearly 85 percent of Pennsylvania’s wildfires occur in March, April, and May, before the greening of state woodlands and brushy areas.
Wildfire Prevention Week is usually designated during the first week in March.
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Million Trees Partnership
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[Posted: Feb. 22, 2019]
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