The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 11, 2013

Volunteers extinguish 11 area fires

SELINSGROVE -  Fire crews in the Valley were busy Sunday, as weather conditions created a good climate for brush fires, according to the National Weather Service.

Low humidity and strong winds throughout the weekend created an ideal situation for brush fires in central Pennsylvania, said Aaron Tyburski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

“There’s very dry air, breezy condition and the fallen leaves from fall haven’t disintegrated yet,” he said. “It’s easy to start something with any kind of ignition.”

There were at least 10 brush fires reported in the Valley on Sunday: two in Northumberland County; two in Union County; and six in Snyder County, according to the county 911 dispatches. None were reported in Montour County.

An evening junkyard fire near Selinsgrove also had crews out into the night, with a tractor-trailer and several cars catching fire, said Brandon Ulrich, assistant chief with the Selinsgrove Fire Department.

Crews were dispatched at 6:17 p.m. to the fire at 950 Fetter Road, Ulrich said. It took crews about an hour to get the fire under control.

No injuries were reported and firefighters were unsure what sparked the blaze.

Brush and other types of wild fires will become more common in the next six weeks or so, Tyburski said. Once the leaves start to grow and store water, the fires will become less common.

However, the Valley will be experiencing some wetter weather this week, with rain in the forecast for tonight and lower temperatures expected for the rest of the week, Tyburski said.

However, Tyburski said residents should be on alert.

“It’s very easy to start something,” he said.

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