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Fire burns acre of Pa. mountain

December 01, 1998

UPPER STRASBURG, Pa. - On the first day of Pennsylvania's buck season, fire companies from Franklin and Cumberland counties and the Pennsylvania Forestry Department battled a mountain fire Monday afternoon on state game lands in Letterkenny Township.

Pleasant Hall (Pa.) Fire Chief Eric Varner said the fire charred about an acre on top of Upper Strasburg Mountain along a powerline right of way near Upper Strasburg Road.

"It looks like it started from a campfire," Varner said.

He said a hunter had spotted the fire Monday morning and thought he had put it out. The same hunter reported the fire had flared up in the afternoon.

Firefighters from Pleasant Hall and Fannettsburg, Pa., responded to the scene, along with personnel from the forestry department and two fire companies in the Shippensburg, Pa., area, he said.

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"I'm surprised there weren't more" opening day fires, Varner said.

Until a light rain on Wednesday night, Franklin County was headed toward its dryest November since 1930. The 0.64 inches of rain that has fallen this month makes it the driest since 1976 when 0.7 inches of precipitation fell, according to local weather watcher Jerry Ashway.

Varner said firefighters were on the scene until 8:47 p.m., with two assigned to watch the area overnight to guard against a flare-up.

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