Fire marshal: Use caution while burning outdoors

March 24, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Franklin County residents are asked to use extreme caution if they plan to start any controlled outdoor fires, Trooper Jeff Sarver, Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal, said in a news release.

A "red flag" condition for open burning was in effect Monday, when several fires were reported and several outbuildings destroyed, Sarver said.

Under red flag conditions, a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fine fuels will create explosive fire growth potential, Sarver said.

The red flag condition was lifted Tuesday as the humidity increased, but conditions remain extremely dry, he said.

Sarver asked residents to take the following precautions while burning outdoors:

o Do not burn within 50 feet of a structure.

o Do not leave a fire unattended.

o A source to extinguish the fire must be present at all times.

Do not engage in open burning if the humidity drops into single digits, Sarver said.

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