From April 11 to 17th New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers were called to 26 wildfires in 16 counties that burned nearly 1,000 acres of land. The largest fires were in the town of Deerpark in Orange County at 300 acres, and in the town of Richmondville where the fire totaled 241 acres and spanned Otsego and Schoharie counties.
Rangers coordinated firefighting efforts with State agency partners including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, New York State Parks, Department of Transportation, Office of Emergency Management, dozens of local responders, volunteer firefighters, and other DEC staff trained in wildland fire suppression.
In 2022, DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 162 wildfires covering more than 1,300 acres. Wildfires are most likely to spread in the before rains come in the spring and before snowfall in the fall and early winter.
DEC is urging New Yorkers to take extra caution due to this year’s warm and dry winter season. While the statewide burn ban doesn’t take effect until March 16, the majority of New York State is bare of snow and very dry. Without any new or additional snowfall, the dry, dormant vegetation is primed to burn and facilitate the spread of a wildfire.
For more information about fire safety and prevention, go to DEC’s FIREWISE New York webpage.
Photo of the Deerpark wildfire provided by DEC.