Spurred by rampant wildfires following unregulated logging in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, visionary leaders like Gifford Pinchot and Joseph Rothrock lobbied for laws to protect streams and forests.
These efforts led to the creation of a system of volunteer forest fire wardens in Pennsylvania in 1915, according to Jeanne M. Wambaugh, district forester, Bureau of Forestry Elk State Forest.
On Aug. 8, staff from the Bureau of Forestry, Elk State Forest, presented Richard Sassaman with his 55-Year Forest Fire Warden Award.
The primary purpose of a forest fire warden is to assist the Bureau of Forestry in the suppression and investigation of wildfires. Wardens may also be appointed to assist the bureau in fire prevention, detection and pre-suppression activities.
Staff would like to thank all current and retired forest fire wardens for their years of faithful service.