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Several Pa. counties introduce burn bans to prevent wildfires amidst dry weather

The burn bans will prohibit any open burning of flammable materials.

YORK, Pa. — A historically dry spring is prompting county commissioners to frequently check the forecast.

“We obviously do need rain in the future, and I’m praying that we do get some rain," said Doug Hoke, York County Commissioner.

On Monday, York County Commissioners announced a county-wide burn ban lasting 30 days. Commissioner Hoke says the ban will prohibit any open burning of flammable materials, such as trash, leaves, and twigs.

“It’s pretty much outdoor burning," said Hoke. "Wherever you think there’s a possibly a fire could spread, we put that into existence.”

Across the Susquehanna River, Lancaster County is set to vote on its own burn ban. It would be the first time the county has instituted a burn ban in over 10 years.

“It’s a significant step and we don’t take this lightly," said Ray D'Agostino, Lancaster County Commissioner. "But the fact is, we are well below where it should be in terms of rainfall.”

Neighboring Lebanon County also enacted a 30-day burn ban that goes into effect Thursday at noon. Everyone is keeping a very close eye on the upcoming weather forecast and hoping for rain.

“We looked at the 14-day forecast just today and there’s not any considerable precipitation that will help us out," said Cody Santiago, director of the York County Department of Emergency Management.

Santiago said the burn ban simply aims to prevent wildfires.

“This isn’t about control or anything like that, it’s about minimizing the impact that these fires have on York County residents and their property," said Santiago.

Outdoor grilling and fires in designated campground firepits are still permitted under the burn ban, which will protect summertime barbeques and campfires. The burn bans are in place for 30 days, unless the region gets more rain and commissioners decide to cancel them.

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