A massive wildfire burns through acres of land on both sides of Cobham Hill Road in Tidioute.
This is a historical year in 50 years for Tidioute being such a dry season marking over 60 fires last month and today’s wildfire was over 100 acres.
“It only takes a spark to start a wildfire.” said Cecile Stelter, Forest District Manager for Bureau of Forestry.
What started as a spark then grew to blaze through 100 acres of land near Route 62 and Cobham Hill Road in Tidioute. The weather has a major impact on why the fire spread.
“When I last looked, it was 20-25 mph and we have very dry conditions.” Stelter said.
“The winds kicked up this afternoon and it got too volatile in the fire grounds and we pulled our firefighter resources out.” said Jay Lindemuth, Fire Forester for the Pennsylvania DCNR.
According to Lindemuth, what was helping to put this fire out over 100 acres is called a Bambi bucket under the helicopter that sprays out 80 gallons of water from the Allegheny River.
With the fire raging on, one house did have to evacuate but everyone and the structure is safe.
To help prevent more spread, the firefighters from local stations are using another resource to stop the fire.
“We are flying back to the central part of Pennsylvania and refilling with retardant, the red stuff that comes out of the planes like you see out west to try to cool down the head of the fire and stop it spread.” Lindemuth said.
Other local organizations came to help assist in any way they could.
“The firefighters, they are out here risking their life to put out this fire. They are tired, they are exhausted, so the least we can do for them is do our part and give them some fresh food.” said Captain Keith Jache, Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army.
The fire is still uncontained and, according to Lindemuth, it could take a couple of days before it’s completely burned out.
At this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
According to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service, firefighters will continue to monitor the fire throughout the night. Additional fire crews and a Type 3 Incident Management team will arrive on Friday and join in the fight to put the fire out.