Whenever very low humidity and strong spring winds combine, they create conditions ripe for fire spread. Even with warnings from the National Weather Service and county emergency officials to not be burning outside, these activities still occur. Often, what seems like a controlled burn can quickly spread and become uncontrolled.
Such was the case on April 6 when a brush pile fire on a farm spread rapidly into woods and brushy areas, resulting in a three-hour effort by area fire companies to stop the spread and extinguish the fire. The Union Fire Company of Oxford was first called at 2:19 pm for a burning complaint on Crowl Tool Road in East Nottingham Township.
On arrival, Deputy 21 determined the brush pile fire had become uncontrolled, and had the Chester County Fire Radio dispatch his fire company, along with additional brush units from across southern Chester County. West Grove Fire Company was dispatched for Brush 22 to assist. Also responding was an all terrain vehicle from Longwood Fire Company to assist brush units and fire engines from Oxford's Union Fire Company. Crews had to battle thick vegetation and thorns to access materials and areas that were burning.
The situation was declared under control after about 3 hours with no injuries reported.
When a controlled burning is planned, it is important to notify the Chester County Radio Room to get your activity on the scheduled Burn List. Call 610-436-4700 and be prepared to give location, township and contact phone number. Do this in advance before the burn to avoid an unnecessary emergency response. The fire company urges all parties to use good situational awareness to consider weather conditions, adjacent exposures and other factors when planning a controlled burn. Additionally, always have someone present and monitoring burns, and never conduct burns at night as flames are visible at distance and may create unnecessary 911 calls).