CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thousands of acres burned as a wildfire tore through Sandy Ridge, just south of Philipsburg on Thursday night.
Crews, including the Hope Fire Company, were called at around 4 p.m. April 20, to Sandy Ridge Trail in Rush Township for a wildfire. The fire began to quickly spread, prompting fire departments from Blair and Clearfield counties to respond for help.
As first responders worked into the night, it was reported that the fire was spreading as fast as 10 miles per hour and ultimately spread across roughly 4,000 acres. At one point, firefighters were estimating the flames spanned over 600 football fields.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) used two planes and a helicopter to see what the blaze looked like and where it was heading. They were able to bring in bulldozers to build fire lines, which cleared areas of wood and trees to help contain the fire.
“It’s a lot easier for us to work at night with that and the diminished fire behavior that is out there. It’s hard to see at night, but with us working at this, it’s going to be a lot safer for people out there rather than in the heat of the day,” said Jeremy Hailton with the DCNR.
Hamilton estimated over 100 firefighters were working tirelessly to stop the fire. Fire trucks were stationed in residential areas that could have been in the danger zone, according to Centre County Emergency Services.
While no injuries have been reported, everyone in the area should be mindful of the smoke if they need to leave their house.