Brush fire season preventative tips

June 10th, 2015 9:40 am

First Posted: 5/19/2014

As temperatures slowly begin to rise in the Abingtons, the danger of brush fires becomes a very real issue for area firefighters.

Brush fires need hot, humid temperatures, dry brush and windy conditions. A dropped cigarette or a spark can easily start a devastating brush fire.

“Brush fire season can run from March to October,” Clarks Summit Fire Chief Jake Hoinowski said. “If it is haying season and dry, that can start a brush fire or if the ground cover is dry.”

“If the trees are not turning green after the rain, then they dry out quick,” Chinchilla Fire Chief James Waters said.

If carried out incorrectly, open burning can lead to brush fires that can not only destroy property, but severely injure people.

Clarks Summit Fire Department Captain Kevin Yetkowskas offers a few safety guidelines for open burning:

  • Have a water source nearby
  • Contain the fire in a metal ring or burn barrels
  • Burn away from structures such as houses
  • Monitor the fire
  • Notify the dispatch center if you know you are going be burning at 570-342-9111

“A neighbor will call saying their neighbors’ backyard is on fire,” Yetkowskas said. “If we know this is a controlled burn through the dispatch center then we will not go out with lights and sirens.”

The company has a 4x4 pickup truck that can go into rural areas to fight fires. Clarks Summit has a mutual aid agreement with Newton Ransom, Dalton, Chinchilla, part of Glenburn and Clarks Green.

The Chinchilla Fire Department also has a brush pickup truck equipped with hoses and water. The truck can travel on rural paths and is available for use throughout Lackawanna County.

“We can take the truck anywhere,” Waters said. “We have been to Olyphant and other places.”

Chinchilla assists Clarks Summit, Dalton and Newton Ransom.

A permit is needed to burn in Clarks Summit. It’s available for free at the fire station located on 321 Bedford St. A permit is not needed in South Abington Township.

Contact the Clarks Summit Fire Company at 570-586-9656 or Chinchilla Hose Company 570-586-5726 with any questions about opening burning.