New York State Forest Rangers and local fire departments have been battling numerous wildfires that burned about 13 acres around New York State since May 23rd, including one at the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site. Several of the fires were started from illegal burning. Several tickets were issued and other fires were still being investigated on Thursday.
On Tuesday, May 23 at 3:20 p.m., Rensselaer County requested Forest Ranger assistance with a wildland fire at the Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site in Walloomasc, Rensselear County, near the village of Hoosick Falls. Rangers worked with Hoosick Falls Fire Department, North Bennington Fire Department, North Hoosick Fire Department, Shaftesbury Fire Department, and Rensselaer County Emergency Services to get the fire under control. The 0.8-acre fire was fully contained by 5 pm, and declared out the following morning at 11 am.
On Sunday, May 28 at 9:30 am, Forest Ranger Roberts responded to a complaint about rubbish burning that had spread to private property in the village of Ovid, Seneca County. Ranger Roberts issued a ticket for burning that endangers another’s property. DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement is investigating the waste burned and the responsible party could face further charges.
At 2:30 pm that same day, Forest Rangers McCartney and Stone responded to a fire in the town of Forestport, Oneida County, started by debris burning. Rangers worked with Barneveld Fire Department, Boonville Fire Department, Forestport Fire Department, Otter Lake Fire Department, Remsen Fire Department, and Woodgate Fire Department to get the 4.45-acre fire under control.
By May 29 at 7:05 pm, the fire had grown to 4.52 acres. While fully controlled, the fire is not yet completely contained. State Fire provided a thermal equipped drone to assist in heat detection along the fire perimeter.
At 3:45 pm on May 28, Forest Rangers Jackson and Mitchell responded to a wildland fire that had started from burning brush in the village of East Nassau, Renssealer County. Rangers worked with multiple fire departments to get the 1.5-acre fire under control. Rangers issued a ticket for failure to remove flammable material while burning brush.
Later that same evening, at 9:45 pm, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a complaint about a large bonfire at the South Colwell Pond boat launch in the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area in the town of Ellisburg, Jefferson County. Forest Ranger Thomes determined the bonfire was started by a large family who planned to camp there for the night. Ranger Thomes issued a ticket for the illegal fire and informed the group camping is not allowed in the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area.
On Monday, May 29 at 2:15 pm, three Forest Rangers responded to a 5.7-acre fire threatening a home and shed in the town of Seward, Schoharie County. Rangers and multiple fire departments got the fire under control, protecting the structures. The homeowner was issued a ticket for illegal debris burning.
Photo: Wildfire at Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site (provided by DEC).