Fire Crews battle several brush fires across 100 acres that threatened to damage a dozen homes in a private community in Luzerne County.
Thick smoke choked this private gated community here in Luzerne County as fire crews from numerous areas battled several brush fires for most of the day Friday.
Folks living here in the Hickory Hills Development say they noticed flames springing up in the wooded areas during morning, which quickly spread.
“It’s overwhelming, it’s one of those things again in life you always think it’s going to happen to somebody else,” said Kathy Samer. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources coordinated the crews on the ground and had planes dropping water from above over the roughly 100 acres that were affected. Bill Wilkus, the president of the development’s home owners association says there are about 500 homes here in Hickory Hills and 12 up on the mountain where the brush fires were burning.
“One guy said this morning when it started the flames were 12 feet high right behind his back porch coming up the side of the mountain, so a lot of people are worried,” said Wilkus. DCNR says those 12 homes were in direct danger of those flames but in the end there were no major damages to properties.
“They’ve done a remarkable job on some of the houses,” said Chief Ralph Lennon with Lake Harmony Fire. “One minute you thought the houses were safe then it looked like they were going to be engulfed, the next minute they were able to knock it down so the fellows are really busting their humps and doing a remarkable job.” No evacuations were ordered during the brush fires but some opted to leave their homes to get away from the smoke.
“We had to get our animals out, we all have dogs that are here right here, but they have opened the club house so you can go down there for food or drink or water,” said Jackie Burchanowski. DCNR says the cause of the fire is under investigation. The state Department of Forestry will handle that investigation.