STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A temporary red flag warning is no longer in place, warning of an increased risk of fire.
But with a lack of rain and tinder dry conditions still an issue. Fire officials want to remind people about outdoor burning dangers.
Despite that red flag warning expiring Tuesday night, members of both the Stroudsburg and Stroud Township fire say conditions are not safe and are at a high risk for wildfires. They say within the last two weeks they’ve responded to a handful of brush fires and are urging people to use extreme caution.
A white haze covers the rising sun Wednesday morning, a sight the region has been experiencing due to hundreds of wildfires burning in Canada.
The smoke-filled air led to several people calling 911 in the Poconos.
“Many, many calls. We had all three chiefs in our department and then also some of the other officers checking on the smoke and the haze,” said Mike Stettler, public information officer at the Stroud Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Stettler, along with the Stroudsburg Fire Chief Charlie Frantz, spoke to Eyewitness News about how our area is seeing its fair share of brush fires.
“On Monday we had approximately 10 companies out along Route 33 for several miles and also a good portion of a mountain down in wind gap that we were fighting fire,” described Stettler.
They say brush fires are extremely dangerous for firefighters to battle, especially in the mountains.
“The terrain, up and down a hill, with the rocks and everything else, it’s exhausting and you could get injured very easily,” said Frantz.
A red flag warning was temporarily put in place Tuesday, and due to the lack of rain the region has seen, fire officials say outdoor activities like burning and camping should be used with extreme caution.
“With the conditions that are out there, to get a wildfire going, a brush fire going, it’d be very easy. An ember could take off and next thing you know the brush is on fire,” stated Frantz.
“We’ve had incidents where people were having a campfire, caught on, encroached upon an outbuilding, you know it can happen very quickly,” said Stettler.
Because of the high number of 911 calls they’ve received in Monroe County alone, fire officials say if you see or smell smoke, safely investigate to see if there is an active fire happening before calling. But if you’re not sure, when in doubt call 911.