New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today urged New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety during the upcoming holiday weekend. Dry weather throughout the month of June has increased the risk of fires.
There are currently three active wildfires in the state: one in St. Lawrence County; one in Herkimer County; and one in Tompkins County. Collectively, these fires are burning nearly 11 acres of land, and in some cases are 18 inches deep, requiring a pump operation with large volumes of water. Two other fires in St. Lawrence County over the weekend burned another 11 acres of land.
The majority of the state remains at a moderate risk for fires, meaning that any outdoor fire can spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires. Fireworks are in the top 12. According to the National Safety Council, each year in the U.S. fireworks are responsible for more than 18,000 fires.