LANCASTER – While the dig-out from our recent snowstorm continues, fire officials are reminding citizens to keep fire hydrants accessible and clear of ice and snow. In an emergency, every second counts. Fire hydrants that are blocked, concealed, or difficult to access due to snow or ice can and will impede emergency fire response. One of the first tasks upon arriving at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant. Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time needed to fight a fire. Keeping them clear can mean easier access to water and more time fighting the fire. Property owners with fire hydrants in their yard or right-of-way should clear an area no less than 3 feet around the hydrant and an open path that goes to the plowed street.