The Berks County Commissioners approved terminating the countywide burn ban Tuesday during their Operations meeting following updated recommendations from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Berks County Department of Emergency Services. Stephen Wacker, District Fire Warden, provided a written update to the Commissioners that said he felt it was safe to lift the ban after the rainfall on Saturday, April 22, the forecast for Friday, April 28, and moderate humidity.
The ban on all open outdoor burning was instated on April 16 at the request of 19 Fire Chiefs and Fire Wardens throughout Berks. The request was made due to the dry and dangerous burning conditions throughout the County and sub-average rainfall. The combination of those conditions created a great risk of fire that would require a soaking rain to alleviate the danger. The recommendation also noted a significant increase in the number and size of brush and wildfires in Berks recently.
Commissioner Michael Rivera, reading from Fire Warden Wacker’s updated recommendation, cautioned that it is still essential to be careful with fire outdoors. The letter referenced a wildfire in Centre County on April 20 that burned 1,500 acres.
Commissioner Lucine Sihelnik reemphasized during her comments that all of those who burn outdoors must be mindful of their burning practices and conduct them safely.