Forest Fires Hit York County in the Past
Doing a Google search on forest fires is eye opening. As I write this, fires are raging in the mountains of New Mexico; tigers and elephants are threatened by the fires in two national parks in India; and 45 forest fires have started in Irkutsk, Russia the past few days.
I don’t recall any major forest fires in York County lately. That wasn’t always the case.
In late April 1928 the York Gazette reported that between 50,000 and 60,000 young pines were destroyed near York Furnace (Lower Chanceford Township). Over six hundred acres of woodland, owned by the Pennsylvania Water and Power Company were burned over. The pines had been planted by the power company a few years before.
The fire was said to have been started about a mile west of York Furnace on Patterson hill by some boys. A high wind caused it to spread quickly. The power company reportedly recruited men from Holtwood and Baltimore to help local men fight the fire.
The same day a fire broke out at the aptly named F. M. Firebaugh’s farm at Hungerford (Shrewsbury Township). Again a brisk wind played a part. The wind spread fire from coals that had been smoldering from the Firebaugh’s burning brush a few days before. Luckily a dozen men quickly attacked the fire with rakes and shovels so that damage was limited to ten acres of woodland.
Even though we have cleared much of York County for farming, houses, and industry; that doesn’t mean we couldn’t be hit by major fires if conditions were right. There are still large areas of unspoiled forest around us that we need to preserve and carefully protect.
Click here to read about an earlier York City fire.
Click here to read about a fire at the county jail.
And click here to read what happens when cigars get too hot.
1908 Hanover fires.
Smoke from midwest clouds 1952 York skies.