Editor's note: The following information comes from the Chester County Communications office.
The Chester County Board of Commissioners declared a ban on open burning for all Chester County residents and businesses, effective immediately. The temporary 30-day ban is based on current weather conditions and forecasted conditions, as well as the recent wildfire in French Creek State Park. Gusting winds, combined with dry fields and forests have made conditions extremely unstable for open burning.
Open burning of any combustible material out-of-doors in either a burn barrel (screened or unscreened), fire ring or on the ground is banned. This includes the burning of garbage, leaves, grass, twigs, litter, paper and vegetation from land that has been cleared.
The lack of green foliage in the spring, little rainfall, low humidity and sunny, windy days have increased the chances of forest and brush fires spreading. The William Penn Forestry District 17, which covers Chester County, advises on its website that conditions today are “extreme”, meaning fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely.
“The Forestry District may elevate these conditions to “Red Flag Warning” over the weekend, indicating that critical fire weather conditions are either currently occurring or will shortly be occurring,” said Robert Kagel, Chester County Department of Emergency Services Deputy Director for Emergency Management.
For more information on fire conditions for wildfires and open burning, go to the Pennsylvania Fire Wardens Association District 17 website, www.pffwal17.org.