MIDDLBURG – In Snyder County, the out of control 200 acre forest fire is out, but a new fire warning has been issued by a state forester.
John Portzline, Assistant District Forester, for the Bald Eagle State Forest tells WKOK, the fire was on Shade Mountain, which is part of the Bald Eagle State Forest. He says the fire started Friday around midday, and was first spotted by state forester who saw the smoke and investigated. He says the cause of the fire is unknown, is under investigation and he noted, it was not a prescribed or controlled burn which got out of control.
He estimated the amount of land burned at about 150- 200 acres. He said some areas are completely charred, but in other areas the overstory trees are okay. He said the forest will slowly recover, first with the onset of green vegetation.
DCNR firefighting crews, volunteers firefighters and others spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday digging firelines with hand tools, they used heavy equipment to make firelines and they had some water lines available to fight the fire.
Crews converged on Freemont VFD as staging area and command post. He strongly commended the Freemont crews for their facility and their work.
As for personnel, Saturday he counted up to 70 people involved in the firefight, in a standby capacity or supporting crews actively involved. Sunday, that number grew to 90 people, and Monday about 30-40 people still working. Monday he said they were strengthening containment lines, mopping up hotspots, patrolling the lines and making sure no heat or sparks get out.
He noted, that it has been very difficult work, and he thanked everyone who has been involved.
Then the warning; Portzline said we still have very dry conditions, our area is lacking rainfall, and he asked all area residents to be very careful with fire, saying, ‘Do not do any outdoor burning at this time.’