Rich Schenk, a fire control officer with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, is in crunch time, and that’s not because of the sounds the dry leaves are making, though they certainly are adding to the problem.
"Four days ago the fires were all 1 to 2 acres, we're up to 12-15 acre size," Schenk said of brush fires.
On Tuesday, we had our first red flag warning of the season, meaning there's a high risk for brush fires.
Dry weather, breezes, and heavy ground cover all contribute to whats called one-hour fuel fires. Also, the sun is hitting the ground because the trees are bare.
Schenck says "it wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t have a heat source." But un-extinguished campfires and debris burning are good enough heat sources.
Its not just the warm temperatures or winds or dry weather causing higher fire danger. Believe it or not, the trees aren't helping either. Once they start flourishing with leaves they’ll need more moisture. And that moisture is going to come from the ground, which could cause streams to dry up.
With the first red flag warning of the season, Schenk is hoping people will heed warnings of avoiding unnecessary fires.
"It concerns me because we have a lack of resources that are able to get out there and put the fires out," he said.
And now he's just hoping for the rain to return before things get out of hand.
"If we continue down this path we're going to see 100-acre fires."