Schuylkill County bans open burning
It's brush fire season, and Schuylkill County commissioners on Wednesday enacted a countywide burn ban, effective Friday for the next 30 days.
The action came at the request of Emergency Management Coordinator John Matz and district forester Timothy Ladner.
The ban means open burning anywhere in the county is prohibited.
The greatest risk of wildfires is in March, April and May, and again in October and November, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
At those times, brush and fallen leaves are dry and easily ignite.
While lightning strikes cause very few fires, people are responsible for 98 percent of them.
Last spring, 521 wildfires in the state burned 1,633.8 acres, according to DCNR.
About half 241 of the fires were started by debris burning.
All three commissioners, Chairman Frank J. Staudenmeier, George F. Halcovage Jr. and Gary J. Hess, voted in favor of the ban.