Warm weather leads to spate of brush fires throughout the area

Staff Writer

It was a busy day for the tri-county area, as brush fire season unofficially opened as the sun came out and along with it the burning of brush and leaves by area residents.

Several cases got out of control due to the extremely dry conditions, along with structure fires that cropped up as well.

Punxsutawney Central Fire Department and Lindsey Fire Company both responded with tankers and Central’s Engine 20-1 to a structure fire at 1652 Hemlock Lake Rd., Banks Township, at 3:15 p.m. Monday for mutual aid to the Glenn Campbell Fire Company.

Dave Lucas, Glen Camp-bell Volunteer Fire Company chief, said he was first on scene and the fire began in the garage.

Lucas added that the owner said he walked in and heard a crackling noise, and found the fire was fully involved.

“He got one vehicle out, and he tried to get to some motorcycles out, but he couldn’t get to them,” Lucas explained, adding that when he first arrived, there was heavy black smoke showing and fire coming out of both ends.

Lucas said the fire then got outside the building and spread into the woods.

Glen Campbell was assisted at the scene by Rossiter, Commodore, Big Run, Elk Run, Perry, Clearfield 36, Sykesville and Team 900 Indiana County.

The largest brush fire was located on Colonel Drake Highway at Bouch Road, where some reports had a brush fire that was located in three different counties with at one point as much as 30 acres on fire at the same time.

Elk Run’s Brush 30 and Engine 30 and Big Run’s Brush 17 and Engine 17 responded. Sykesville’s Brush 8 and Tanker 8 also responded.

There were also brush fires on Hillman Road in Banks Township. Brush 17, Brush 30 and Engine 30 responded.

Firefighters from Glen Campbell, Big Run and Rossiter returned to the scene on Hemlock Lake Road at 8:30 p.m. after a report that the fire from earlier in the afternoon had rekindled.