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Wildfire Still Burning In Poconos, But Rain Could Help

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BARRETT TOWNSHIP -- It has been one week since two brush fires were sparked in the Poconos, and still fire crews battle the flames.

The good news is rainy, cool weather is in the forecast, and crews hope the conditions help them douse the last of the flames.

“We actually have a meteorologist on this incident and a specialist called a fire behavior analyst, and both of those individuals really keep track of the weather, how the weather affects fire behavior,” said Cecile Stetler, a spokesperson for the DCNR.

According to fire officials, the two brush fires were intentionally set last week. One has been put out, the other still burns.

Fire crews have been working 16 hours shifts for the last week, coordinating efforts and fighting flames in the area of the Monroe and Pike County border.

To date, more than 8,030 acres have burned, making it the largest wildfire in the state in more than a decade.

Eleven structures have burned as well, though none are permanent homes.

There's a $10,000 reward from the Bureau of Forestry and an anonymous donor for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

"I can't believe they haven't been able to keep up with it. I mean when it started though it was dry. We hadn't had rain probably for weeks. It's not dry now but I guess it doesn't matter -- been burning too long. I would have thought it would have been out by now,” said Emil Martin of Gouldsboro, who works in an area near the wildfire.

Dan Slotterback of Bucks County is happy to hear the weather could help firefighters.

"My brother-in-law called me and told me Pike County was burning. I have a cabin, and I was concerned. He was nervous too so we both jumped in the car and come up to make sure we could do whatever we could do," said Slotterback.

Fire officials said if all goes well, and this weather stays cool and rainy, they're hoping to have the blaze completely out this weekend. The blaze is currently about 80% contained.

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