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Fire Crews Battle Brush Fires In Private Community

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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.


  • Vol.firefighter

    how about the 450 to 500 acres that burned near Skytop that didn’t even make the news this should not even be on here. thank god that everyone is safe but this article is just crap

  • Linda

    fires are terrible where ever they happen but you guys claim to be the news of northeast Pa but none of the many brush fires in Monroe county were covered and there were several like Skytop Lodge , then when you do decide to report on anything here its days later when it isnt news any more

  • someguy

    I think there was a fire on rt 437 in mountain top that created a lot of smoke all over the valley. I agree no mention of this?

  • Garrett smith

    What a shame the landowners couldn’t help save their own houses too busy going to the private club with their noses up in the air I hope they catch whoever started this fire and order restitution for all the resources being used up

    • Queen Bee

      You should really know what you’re talking about before you open your ignorant mouth. Hickory Hills isn’t some golf course resort. Home prices in our community are around $60-80k. Yeah, we’re so snooty with our double wides and our modular built homes. We pay our property taxes just like everyone else.

    • fed up with people that don't know what they are talking about

      The home owners in this community are not the type that go to country clubs or have their noses in the air. Everyone of them are hard working individuals or retired – and many of them tried endlessly all day long to keep the flames at bay.. This fire started in the valley behind this community – and quickly spread up the mountain. Please if you don’t know what you are talking about then please keep your comments to yourself.

      • Tom R

        Please remember that this is an open news forum. Garrett smith has EVERY right to their own opinion, even if you and I do not agree with their comments. We live in America, and you have NO right to tell other people what they can or cannot say.

    • Dr. RothEisenSteinBerg

      That’s awful. Hopefully, everyone stays safe from the fire, and don’t fall into the smoky hole.

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