Firefighters from several Berks and northern Chester County companies battled wind-whipped flames well into the night. The fire was first reported about noon near Route 345 and Hopewell Street in Union Township, just south of Birdsboro.
Exhausted crews had to leave to get some rest knowing that it will take at least one more day to put out all of the flames, which have spread into North Coventry Township in Chester, a county communications center supervisor said.
Residents were evacuated from homes in the area. The American Red Cross, Berks County Chapter, and the Berks County Department of Emergency Services set up a shelter at the Immaculate Conception Church social hall in Union Township. Food and beverages were available at the shelter, and the Berks sheriff’s department was providing security.