Lehigh Valley

Brush fires concerns this time of year

Brush fires concerns this time of year

EASTON, Pa. - According to the National Fire Protection Association, brush fires account for nearly 25 percent of all fires reported to local fire departments.

Fire departments throughout the region have been extra busy fighting brush fires the last few days.

Crews in Carbon County were called to Penn Forest Township Monday afternoon for a brush fire.

Firefighters spent hours trying to prevent the spread.

Multiple departments were called out to Phillipsburg, New Jersey over the weekend after a series of brush fires broke out along a two mile stretch of train tracks.

Those fires were sparked by dried up plant debris caught in a passing train's exhaust system.

Firefighters said brush fires are common in the springtime because of leftover and dried up foliage from winter.

"It really hasn't greened up because we haven't had enough rain and sunny days for it to come back and quell the forest fires, and fuel for brush fires," said Chad Gruver, a firefighter with Easton Fire Department.

Gruver said wind and low humidity also help fuel the fires, but it's not all Mother Nature's fault.

"Most fires stem from carelessness, from people, discarded cigarettes, unattended campfires. People burning yard waste," Gruver said.

Experts offer the following tips to prevent brush fires:

-Make sure you're disposing of cigarettes, and other lit items, in a metal container.
-Never use a lawn mower in dry vegetation and don't drive your car over dry grass.
-If you start a campfire, make sure you're watching it until it's completely out.
-Don't light a fire on a dry, windy day.

For more safety tips and information about brush fires, click here.

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