Wildfire near Kulpmont contained
KULPMONT - Approximately 70 emergency workers were called to the scene of a two-acre wildfire which broke out in a wooded area behind the former Anthra Textile Mill Tuesday afternoon.
Crews were initially called to the 1200 block of Chestnut Street, the borough's main thoroughfare, for a smoke investigation. Fire officials determined the smoke was coming from a large-scale wildfire in the wooded area behind the old mill.
"The fire itself was about a mile into the woods off the 1400 block of Maple Street," incident commander and Kulpmont assistant fire chief Raymond Siko II said. "Before we started to get it contained, there was about two to three acres that burned out there."
With the hilly terrain, filled with gaps and drop-offs heading up the mountain, getting trucks and equipment to the area was a bit of a problem as firefighters initially had to use backpack tanks to start fighting the flames.
At one point, fire officials discussed using a water drop from the air using a plane from the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), but that wasn't possible since the planes were working to fight bigger wildfires in other areas.
By 6:15 p.m., fire crews working in the woods said the blaze was contained, and they were beginning the process of "mopping up" - making sure the blaze was extinguished and checking for other hot spots that could rekindle.
All crews were released from the scene at 7:28 p.m. Siko said he didn't get any kind of indication from those working the scene what may have started the fire. DCNR's Bureau of Forestry will be handling the investigation, he said.
He thanked all of the firefighters for their assistance and response and gave a special thank you to Turkey Hill Minit-Market, Kulpmont, for providing water to the firefighters.
Responding to the scene were Kulpmont Borough Fire Department, fire police and police officers, and fire crews from Atlas, Wilburton, East Cameron, Brady, Beaverdale, Strong, Elysburg, AREA Services and representatives from the Bureau of Forestry.