The weather across New York State has been hot and dry, prompting at 90 day burning ban issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The burning ban was issued by the Governor on July 13th and will be in effect until October 10th.
Dry weather conditions have led to a heightened danger of wildfires across Upstate New York. A High Fire Warning was issued just last week in the Adirondacks after a wild fire burned approximately 8 acres of wild forest.
"These conditions should not be taken lightly," Governor Cuomo said. "The potential for disastrous wildfires is present in all areas of the state and we must do whatever we can to prevent fires from occurring. The state will continue to closely monitor the wildfire danger and we will deploy whatever resources are necessary to protect New Yorkers should a critical situation occur."
With a mild winter, with little snowfall, and areas of New York State only seeing 25% of the normal rainfall, the ground is dry and wildfires are a concern.
According to a recent release, wildfires can start easily from many types of causes and can spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. The Governor has urged New Yorkers to take extra caution and do the following:
- Refrain from starting any type of outdoor fire and in cases where a fire must be started, take extreme caution.
- Be watchful and keep a close eye when grilling outdoors.
- For those who smoke, make sure a lit cigarette is completely extinguished.
- When camping, use existing campfire rings when possible and keep fires small.
- Scrape away litter, duff, and any burnable material within a 10 foot diameter circle. This will keep the campfire from spreading.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again.
- Use a cooking stove instead of a campfire to prepare meals.
The New York State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Albany is closely monitoring the situation and is prepared to provide a heightened state of readiness.
Representatives from the Office of Emergency Management (State OEM), Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) will staff the State EOC on a 24/7 basis as necessary.
Violators of the open burning state regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation will suspend all burning permits previously issued.
For more information on preventing wildfires, visit http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/brush-fire.cfm