State officials: Wildfire
danger remains high
At a time when local anglers and
other residents are venturing into woodland
areas for recreation, state officials issued a
reminder that the risk of fire danger is at its
worst during this time of year.
‘‘One act of carelessness could
prove disastrous among tinder-dry conditions in
some of our forests, where wildfire dangers
climb with each day of sun and wind,’’ according
to Ellen Ferretti, secretary for the state
Department of Conservation and Natural
Open fires are forbidden in areas
including the Weiser State Forest – which
encompasses Dauphin, Northumberland, Schuylkill
and several other counties – when officials
label the fire danger level as high, very high
‘‘Many large, destructive
wildfires occurred (earlier in April) across
Pennsylvania, damaging buildings and hundreds of
acres of forestland,’’ Pennsylvania Bureau of
Forestry Chief Forest Fire Warden Randy White
stated recently. ‘‘We remind folks to be careful
with campfires and take the proper
Those precautions include:
• Clear the area around the fire
prior to starting it.
• Keep the fire small and never
leave it unattended.
• Before striking a campfire
match, first consider if conditions are too
warm, dry or windy for a fire and if the
surrounding area is free of leaves and other
• Make sure there is a ready
source of water nearby and a rake to extinguish
any embers that might escape.
• When extinguishing a fire,
continue to apply water until all ashes are cold
to the touch.
White said lack of green foliage
in the spring; low humidity; and sunny, windy
days all increase chances of forest and brush
‘‘Such fires are almost always
traced to human carelessness,’’ he said.
Almost 10,000 acres of state
forest are burned by wildfires each year, and
almost 85 percent of all fires in Pennsylvania
woodlands occur during the months of March,
April and May.
State officials said the majority
of these fires threaten people and their homes,
as well as trees and wildlife.
Landowners are urged to check
with local municipalities to see if outdoor
burning is permitted, and to avoid entirely (or
use extreme caution) when burning trash and
debris, one of the most common causes of
As of press time, a burn ban was
in effect in Schuylkill County until Sunday, May
Residents also are advised to
create ‘‘safe zones’’ around homes and cabins by
removing leaves and other debris from the ground
and rain gutters; stacking firewood away from
structures; and trimming overhanging branches.
For more information on wildfire
prevention, contact the Weiser State Forest at
570-875-6450 or the Bureau of Forestry at
717-787-2925; or visit the website
dcnr.state.pa.us and select ‘‘Find a Forest,’’
Schuylkill remains under burning
As of press time, a ban on open
burning was in effect in Schuylkill County until
Sunday, May 4.
Brown big Band Weekend
held April 11 - 13
TOWER CITY • The eighth-annual
Les Brown Big Band Weekend was held April 11-13.
The event honors the memory of a
Tower City native who had gained national
recognition as a bandleader, composer and
arranger. Les Brown and His Band of Renown
worked with Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis
and other Hollywood celebrities.
Click here for complete details.