Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rangers urge caution as wildfires flare across the region

NYS DEC rangers have been called out to help fight forest fires that have started over the past few weeks. Here is a recent report from the DEC:

fireTown of Brasher
St. Lawrence County
Wildland Fire:
 On May 18 at 2:56 p.m., Region 6 Forest Rangers overheard a call by St. Lawrence County 911 about a five- to six-acre fire off Murray Road in the town of Brasher. Forest Rangers assisted 10 area fire departments using ATV firefighting apparatus and hand tools. A Ranger drone mapped the fire at 14 acres as the fire spread through dry vegetation in swamps and wooded areas. Low humidity and high temperatures, before the leaf growth, helped to spread this fire caused by the landowner burning brush.

Town of Harrisville
Lewis County
Wildland Fire:
On May 24, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from St. Lawrence County 911 asking for Forest Ranger assistance for a wildland fire on Jayville Road in the town of Harrisville. A landowner burning brush during low humidity and high heat caused the fire. The fire was held to 1.2 acres, thanks to the immediate response by five local fire departments. Forest Rangers used ATV fire apparatus to mop up the fire and put out hot spots. The fire was out by the afternoon of May 25.


Rangers fight wildfires over Memorial Day Weekend.
DEC photo

Adirondacks, DEC Region 5
Multiple Counties
Wildland fires:
 DEC Forest Rangers remained busy of the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend dealing with several wildfires in Region 5. A cold, dry spring delayed green up of vegetation throughout much of the Adirondacks resulting in nine wildfires. These fires, burning approximately 40 acres, ranged in size from less than one acre to more than 20 acres. A number of these fires were caused from downed power lines and unattended campfires. Two of the fires remain under investigation.

More on these fires can be found on the Adirondack Explorer:

Campfire safety tips

DEC continues to remind New Yorkers to take proper steps to prevent wildfires. Visit DEC’s FIREWISE New York website, with tips on protecting homes and communities. Tips to promote fire safety while camping include:

  • Use existing campfire rings when possible.
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass and leaves. Pile any extra wood away from the fire.
  • Campfires must be less than three feet in height and four feet in diameter. Only charcoal or untreated wood can be used as fuel. A good bed of coals or a small fire surrounded by rocks gives plenty of heat. Scrape away litter, duff, and any burnable material within a 10-foot diameter circle. This will keep the campfire from spreading.
  • Be sure your match is out. Hold it until it is cold.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread quickly.
  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks as there may be burning embers underneath.
  • Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you do not have water use dirt. Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and break out.
  • Consider using a small stove for cooking in remote areas versus making a campfire.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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