Cumberland Times-News


April 23, 2014


Wind hampers operation on Wills Mountain

The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.

The Wills Mountain fire broke out over the weekend and on Wednesday was contained about 70 percent due to the combined firefighting efforts of volunteers, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Bureau of Forestry. The fire command post was set up at the Cumberland Valley Township Volunteer Fire Company in Centerville.

The firefighters’ efforts have been helped by the dropping of more than 42,000 gallons of water on the fire from Saturday through Monday. Contractual air tankers from the Bureau of Forestry dumped the water in 800-gallon drops. The air tankers are contracted during the annual wild fire season by the Bureau of Forestry and are located at tanker bases in Clearfield and Luzerne counties.

Winds gusting up to 35 mph on Wednesday complicated the firefighting effort. A red flag warning was also issued Wednesday by the National Weather Service for Allegany County and much of Maryland, as well as for the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Such a warning means there will be strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures, all ingredients for forest fire potential.

Monte Mitchell, state fire supervisor for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, told the Baltimore Sun the state’s spring fire season lasts from February to mid-May and the fall fire season is between September and November. He said 98 percent of brush and woods fires are caused by people, since lightning, the only natural cause, accounts for only 2 percent.

The cause of the Wills Mountain fire is under investigation.

Cecile Stelter, public information officer for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, urged area residents to be cautious during fire season. “We urge residents to take extra care during outside burning. Spring is the time when we have most of our wildfires,” she said.

Motorists traveling along U.S. Route 220 in the Centerville area also need to use caution. There is a 35-mph speed limit at Centerville. During fire suppression efforts, drivers may encounter smoky conditions and numerous firefighting vehicles.

Text Only
  • Sleep under the stars! Be a game warden!

    July 27, 2014

  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • Very first memories of a very long life

    July 27, 2014

  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • O’s, Pirates will be buyers, but when?

    Not that we should expect any blockbuster deals to go down as Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, but the names you hear in Baltimore are catcher Kurt Suzuki and starting pitchers Ian Kennedy, A.J. Burnett and Jorge De La Rosa.

    July 27, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    July 27, 2014

  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger

    Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014