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Firefighters battle 62-acre wildfire in Allegheny National Forest; public urged to avoid area

 Map showing the location of the Sugar Bay Fire in the Allegheny National Forest.
Map showing the location of the Sugar Bay Fire in the Allegheny National Forest.

The USDA Forest Service is asking members of the public to stay away from a 62-acre wildfire in the Allegheny National Forest.

The Sugar Bay Wildfire is in the Bradford Ranger District of the forest. The Forest Service said the fire is on the eastern side of Allegheny Reservoir just north of Sugar Bay and west of Polly’s Run in Warren County.

Christopher Leeser, a public affairs officer with the USDA, said the Glade Volunteer Fire Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are providing boat operators and boats to transport firefighters to the site.

“For our crews to get into the site, it would be over a multi-hour hike to get in there with the equipment. And by going in from one of the boat launches along the reservoir, we can get our crews to the fire within a few minutes," Leeser said.

So far, Leeser said, no evacuations have been ordered and no structures have been directly threatened. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry is investigating the cause of the fire. Leeser said the fire was was likely able to grow so quickly because of perfect weather conditions.

“There was a strong wind. It was in a remote location, and the fire was pushed uphill on fairly steep terrain and pushed uphill pretty quickly by the wind," Leeser said. "So it was able to take advantage of that drier leaf litter."

The fire was first reported on Monday.

Leeser said anyone making a campfire needs to make sure it’s attended to at all times and throw water on it to make sure it’s completely out.

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