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More burning bans set in Pa.

December 04, 1998|By DON AINES

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - The Fulton County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a resolution banning outdoor burning for at least 30 days.

The ban came after the commissioners received a letter recommending the ban from District Forester Merl J. Waltz.

The letter said Waltz had received verbal requests for the ban from the chiefs of the McConnellsburg and Needmore fire companies.

The ban includes any outdoor burning of trash, debris or brush, whether in a burn barrel, fire ring or on the ground. Propane stoves, charcoal grills and tobacco are exempt from the ban.

Additionally, smokers are being told not to light up on state game lands. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced a ban on smoking that took effect at 8 a.m., Wednesday.

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The county ban supersedes any municipal ordinances and there are penalties for violators, according to the resolution.

Any state or municipal law enforcement officer can cite violators with a summary offense that carries a fine ranging from $100 for a first offense to $300 for a third.

The region has experienced the second driest November on record with just 0.64 inches of rain for the month in Franklin County, according to local weather watcher Jerry Ashway.

The commissioners' resolution contains wording allowing it to be extended beyond 30 days if conditions warrant.

In Franklin County, where there have been more than 150 brush fires over the past month, firefighters from Shippensburg, Pa., Letterkenny Army Depot and the state Forestry Department spent four hours putting out a mountain fire Thursday.

West End Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Steve O'Donnell said the fire was reported at about 3 p.m. on a power line right-of-way off Stillhouse Hollow Road.

He said the fire was caused by a spark from a power saw that was being used to cut wood.

The fire burned about half an acre, O'Donnell said. Forestry Department personnel were to guard the scene against a flare-up overnight, he said.

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