Firefighters battle wildfires in Boggs, Walker townships

From CDT staff reportsApril 17, 2014 

Local emergency crews battled wildfires on two fronts Thursday.

A blaze in Boggs Township off Moose Run Road kept crews from Milesburg, Logan and Snow Shoe companies busy throughout the morning into the afternoon. More than 10 acres, beneath a set of power lines, burned for hours. The fire was believed to have started around 10 a.m.

Nearby homes did not appear to be in danger, but the fire continued to grow. One of the wooden power poles remained on fire, and crews were trying to reach the flames. Firefighters said they were concerned that if one of the cross members between the poles burned, the lines could come down.

West Penn Power was called in for assistance. Power officials said the poles hold a transmission line that runs from Milesburg to Moshannon, but residents most likely would not lose power.

PennDOT had closed Moose Run Road and fire crews were directing traffic. By midafternoon, PennDOT left the scene and was replaced by area fire police.

It was around that time that a second fire popped up in Walker Township near 284 Walizer Rd. Emergency personnel characterized it as a “large field fire.”

Miranda Guenot and her kids watched it grow from their home in Zion.

“At first, it was just a little tiny thing,” said Hannah Guenot, 14. She and her sister were jumping on their trampoline when they saw the flames and called their mother.

By 5 p.m., the fire was pumping black smoke into the sky, visible from miles away. Walker firefighters were joined by companies including Pleasant Gap, Howard, and at least one truck from Milesburg.

Guenot had a Pleasant Gap truck pull in beside her house, two cornfields and a stand of dead pine trees. She said the crews told her it was a precaution because of the shifting wind.

Wayne Wynick, of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, said earlier this month that April is the prime time for wildfires in the area, with grass and leaves dried by wind and sun and susceptible to sparks, even though the ground beneath might be saturated with rain or snow melt.

Lori Falce can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @LoriFalce.

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