Multiple units battle rash of brush fires near Jim Thorpe
At least seven fire departments and state forestry units were needed to battle at least five brush fires along railroad tracks above Jim Thorpe on Sunday. Equipment and personnel from Jim Thorpe, Nesquehoning, Penn Forest Township, Lehighton, Franklin Township and Summit Hill responded to the area. Three firefighters required medical attention with one of them being lifeflighted. Around 1 p.m. firefighters from District 18 of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, responded to five stubborn brush fires that ran parallel to the railroad tracks and stretched almost two miles through the Lehigh Gorge State Park and high into the steep hills of Jim Thorpe. Two of the fires were hard to control as they spread over 500 feet up very steep embankments. The brush fires covered a combined footprint of approximately 1,300 square feet. The names of the three injured firefighters and the extent of their injuries were unknown as of press time this morning. The fires are still under investigation. Witnesses stated the fires started minutes after the steam train passed. Fire police from Penn Forrest blocked off access to a one-mile stretch of the park for about five hours while firefighters put out the blaze.