Warning: Do Not Burn

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LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- Dry and gusty winds created perfect conditions for brush fires on Wednesday.

Emergency officials are asking people not to burn outdoors.

"It takes one little spark, and it risks a catastrophe for us, the fire department, and their personnel," said Hanover Township Fire Chief Joe Temarantz.

Brush fires like one along Interstate 81 near Dorrance can take a lot to put out. The dry air and gusty winds may lead to fires that can cause havoc on trees, grass, homes, and businesses.

Emergency officials are urging everyone in our area not to add to the problem by open burning.

"If you do that, you risk an ember, anything possible that can set your clothes on fire, set the brush on fire. If you leave it unattended, you are putting yourself at risk," the chief said.

Chief Temarantz has seen his share of brush fires during his 30 years of service.

"When you get there initially, knowing the lay of the land where properties are at, that could be a problem, so you have to get a size up on it so that you know what you may need resource-wise."

Emergency officials are asking people to properly discard cigarettes and not to park on the grass.

"Converters on cars get quite hot and can start a brush fire. If you are visiting your relatives in the woods, somewhere where the house is at, you can start a brush fire," Temarantz warned.

Hanover Township has a no open burning ordinance and fines can reach up to $1,000.

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