Wildfires flare up in New York
This summer, many people have been watching and reading about the devastating fires in Colorado and other Western states. Now wildfires are starting to ignite closer to home, in places like the Adirondacks.
Monday, July 16, 2012 - 16:42
FIRE ABLAZE: Untended campfires could cause serious fire damage. Extreme caution should be exercised when dealing with fires this summer. (Photo: Janelle Hoh)
The scorching temperatures and rainless days the United States has recently experienced have many people worried — expressing concerns about wildfires becoming more common.
In the Adirondacks, 15 different wildfires have burned just over 23 acres since July 1, 2012, according to David Winchell, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) Region 5 spokesman. Four fires are still labeled as active.
Recent North Country fires include:
July 10: a fire was spotted on the banks of Upper Saranac Lake. An acre was consumed by the flames.
At the end of the second week of July, two fires were found along the Adirondack Scenic Railroad tracks, near Ray Brook.
July 16: a small fire broke out on Sawteeth Mountain, in the town of Keene. Sawteeth Mountain is one of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks.
The largest fire this summer to date, in the Adirondacks, was located in Caroga, Fulton County. It was about 8 acres in size.
Friday, July 13, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a burning ban that will stay in effect until Oct. 10, 2012. In April 2012, more than 1,000 acres were burned in Suffolk County, on Long Island. Governor Cuomo and the state Emergency Operations Center are monitoring the fire situation closely this summer, in hopes that another huge fire does not break out.
The DEC is working hard to get information out to tourists and locals alike. All information is to help teach the dangers of wildfires and how to prevent them.
In order to keep people and the environment safe, the DEC has given instructions on how to properly extinguish and care for camp fires. They advise everyone to never leave a fire unattended and to use pre-existing fire rings whenever possible. For the full list of fire precautions, see the DEC's webpage for trail conditions, which is kept current.
Forests are not the only places where fire safety should be practiced. Those who grill outdoors are asked to keep a close eye on their cooking stations. Also, those who smoke are asked to make sure all cigarettes are completely put out when finished. New Yorkers should not fear being unprotected from fires: officials from all across the state are standing by and are ready to fight any fires.
With no major rain storms in sight, fire risks remain high for the region, and across most of the country.