Brush fires a danger, even in New York

The National Weather Service issued a warning for increased fire danger. They say lower relative humidity and increased winds make for favorable conditions to have a small fire get out of control very quickly.

Posted: Apr 5, 2021 10:20 PM

(WKTV) - With the snow melting and temperatures rising, now is a good time to get outside and do a little spring cleaning. Pick up any debris that Mother Nature might have left behind over the winter.

As tempting as it might be, the DEC and fire officials warn that burning the debris to get rid of it is not a good idea. They say the risk of brush fires this time of year increase because of the dry conditions.

In fact, the Whitesboro fire department made quick work of a small brush fire there Monday afternoon. The fire happened in a wooded area behind Cedarbrook Crescent. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames rather quickly. It might not have looked like much of a fire, but it certainly had the potential to become one.

“It’s a good thing we caught this when we did,” said Whitesboro Deputy Fire Chief Dave Glenn. “As you can feel, the wind is starting to pick up. That is huge because with a big gust of wind it could start here and take it down into the woods even further. We could have lost a lot of this acreage out here, it also could have affected the homes over there, and it could have gone down into the car dealerships across the waterway.”

So how bad are conditions right now?

The National Weather Service issued a warning for increased fire danger on Monday and Tuesday. They say lower relative humidity and increased winds make for favorable conditions to have a small fire get out of control very quickly.

“When everyone thinks of wildfires they think of the western part of the country, they don’t really think of New York State but we get our share,” says Maynard Assistant Fire Chief Randy Caldwell. “I think the biggest concern is the spread. Some are easier to contain than others. When we have a windy day like we do over the next few days that creates a serious risk not only for the firefighters but also any property that’s in the vicinity.”

And just a reminder, the DEC has issued a burn ban for New York until May 14.

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