Pennsylvania installing new towers to help find forest fires

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 21, 2018 3:45 PM

Photo by (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Thomas fire burns through Los Padres National Forest near Ojai, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania is getting new lookout towers to help fight fires in state forests.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Wednesday it's in the middle of a $4.6 million effort to renovate and replace 16 towers on state forest lands. Many date to the 1940s and earlier.

The new towers are considered sturdier, are safer to get up and down and have weatherproof areas at the top.

Many are getting new radio communications equipment.

The state also uses aircraft to find forest fires, but they can be costly to insure and operate.

The great majority of Pennsylvania wildfires begin in March, April and May, before the woods are fully green.

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