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Windy, dry conditions spur red flag warning in Pa., NJ

Windy, dry conditions spur red flag warning in Pa., NJ

UNION TWP., Pa. - Windy and dry conditions have prompted a red flag warning for brush fires across a broad section of the East, including New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

Low humidity and dry weather conditions have fire officials standing by as far away as Connecticut all the way down to Virginia, authorities said.

The National Weather Service reports there is also a "great potential" for wildfires in Berks County.

"Things can happen quickly, and when a fire does start, on a day like this, it will spread rapidly," said Robert Herb, Union Township fire marshal.

Conditions were almost identical as about a year ago, officials said, when a massive wildfire ripped through more than 700 acres of French Creek State Park. Officials called it the largest in state history.

"That was actually caused by a tree falling on a power line, which broke it. It fell to the ground, and it arched and started the brush fire," Herb said.

Super Storm Sandy is also to adding to the headaches. The storm knocked over trees that still have not been cleared away.

And now that many are anxious to clean up for the spring, firefighters said it might be safer to wait.

"Ideally, if you could wait until the yards to green up," Herb explained, "that greatly reduces the chance of a wild fire."

Firefighters warn against discarding cigarette butts in grassy areas, throwing away ashes, and burning debris.

If a brush fire starts on your lawn and spreads to neighboring properties, you, as the homeowner, could be held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire.


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