Wednesday, March 31, 2021

DCNR Posts Daily, Statewide Wildfire Danger Maps To Highlight Spring Wildfire Season

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources posts daily statewide Wildlife Danger maps to help educate the public to the potential danger from wildfires.

Two maps are posted-- the Observed Wildfire Danger Map which shows wildfire danger today and the Wildfire Danger Forecast Map which shows the expected wildfire danger tomorrow. 

Click Here for a guide to wildfire ratings.

Wildfire Causes

The greatest danger of wildfires in Pennsylvania occurs during the spring months of March, April, and May, and the autumn months of October and November. 

In Pennsylvania, 99 percent of all wildfires are caused by people.

Certain conditions are necessary for a wildfire to occur:

-- 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 first two factors occur most frequently in Pennsylvania during spring and autumn. As the spring sun climbs higher in the sky, days become longer and warmer.

The trees are bare during this time, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor, warming the ground, and drying surface fuels.

Coupled with strong and dry spring winds, this leads to a tremendous amount of combustible fuels.

The third factor, an ignition source, also frequently occurs during these periods.

One of the major causes of forest fires in Pennsylvania is debris burning. A careless person burning trash or yard waste can be responsible for causing wildfires that burn thousands of acres of valuable Pennsylvania forests.

These fires most frequently start in someone’s backyard and travel through dead grass and leaves into bordering woodlands.

Of course, wildfires can occur during any month and any time of day, destroying woodlands and wildlife habitat, and threatening human lives, homes, and buildings.

For more information on reducing the risks of wildfires, visit DCNR's Wildfires In PA webpage.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

[Posted: March 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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