Recent news we've been reading highlights areas of the United States that don’t initially come to mind when you think of wildfire. The unseasonably warm and dry weather conditions currently in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states have led to a growing wildfire concern.
In Pennsylvania, because of the incidences of small wildfires, warnings have been issued to refrain from burning. The weather conditions there have been warmer and drier than usual this winter and early spring. According to Fire Chief Neal Potter in a Pennsylvania E-newspaper called the Bradford Era on Sunday, March 13th, “I believe that’s just because of the winter we’ve had with no snow,” he said. “It’s cleared off, but it’s not as wet as people think it is. It looks wet. If you’re going to be burning on your lawn, make sure you have a hose, or just don’t burn at all,” said Potter. “That’d be even better.”
Wildfire risks are also present in New York State. A map on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website lists many areas of New York under moderate fire danger.
According to an article, Wildfire risks in the Hudson Valley: Burn Ban reminder, “While many people may associate wildfires with the western United States, the early start of spring weather, dry conditions and lack of snowpack are increasing the risk for wildfires in New York,” said Acting Commissioner of New York's Department of Envirnomental Conservation, Basil Seggos. “New York prohibits residential burning during the high-risk fire season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property and natural resources.”
In Ohio, the state is also predicting an earlier fire season in the state due to weather conditions. According to an article by fire fighter Jeremy Keller, Get Ready for Spring Wildfires, Ohio has an average of 1,073 wildfires reported each spring. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports that between 4,000 and 6,000 acres of grassland and forest burns in Ohio’s forest fire protection district. Typically their wildfire season begins in April.
These recent articles are a reminder about the importance of knowing about your state's burning laws and to be aware of seasonal burn bans. They also share the importance of working together to create resilient Firewise Communities wherever you live.