PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has put part of the Midstate and the eastern part of Pennsylvania under a very high risk of wildfires.
According to the DCNR, a very high risk means that conditions are volatile. Wildfires start easily and spread rapidly with increased intensity. Fires are very difficult to control. The DCNR states that outdoor burning should not occur.
Other portions of the state are under a high risk, which means dangerous conditions. Wildfires ignite easily and fires spread rapidly and are difficult to control under windy conditions. The DCNR states that outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.
Fire weather becomes elevated when there is a combination of higher-than-average wind gusts, lower humidity, and dry conditions, according to the National Weather Service (NWS)
You can take a look at the daily wildfire threat forecast map here.
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Certain conditions are necessary for a wildfire to occur. According to the DCNR, they are the following:
- An available fuel source, such as dried grass or leaves
- Dry conditions, including low relative humidity
- An ignition source — some way for the fire to start
The Pennsylvania DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is responsible for protecting the commonwealth’s 17 million acres of public and private wildlands from damage by wildfire. The NWS states that 99% of wildfires in Pennsylvania are caused by humans.