Brush fire season starts
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The state Department of Environmental
Conservation has issued a warning against burning yard waste as
unseasonably warm weather and high winds fanned several brush fires
in upstate New York.
In eastern New York, one fire covered 40 acres on the top of a
small mountain in Greenfield, 30 miles north of Albany. Another
burned through almost four acres of dense woods in Cranesville, 24
miles northwest of the state capital. A third was quickly stopped
in the heavily wooded area in Glenville in Schenectady County.
Although the causes were not immediately known Monday night, the
DEC noted the increased likelihood of wildfires from backyard burn
barrels and advised against burning on windy days like Monday.
Ellie Kelch, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said
winds throughout the greater Albany area ranged from 15 to 25 mph,
but with gusts up to 35 mph. The temperature reached 91 degrees at
the Albany International Airport.
One firefighter battling the Cranesville blaze was taken to St.
Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam for heat exhaustion. Several others
firefighters had to rest in the shade of nearby trees after working
to extinguish the fire.
In the Southern Tier, brush fires broke out in Vestal,
Apalachin, Windsor, Hancock and Delhi, fueled by dry weather and
winds up to 30 mph. The National Weather Service in Binghamton
reported 6.77 inches of rain so far this year, almost four inches
less than normal.
One fire in Vestal began when a homeowner ignited brush piles,
and it took firefighters a half-hour to bring it under control.
"It's just not the thing to do on a windy, hot day when
everything is not green yet," Vestal Assistant Fire Chief Thomas
McCartney II told the Press & Sun Bulletin of Binghamton. The town
66 miles south of Syracuse has laws against open burning, and the
property owners were cited.
Information from: The Daily Gazette,

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)