Be Careful: Increased Risk of Wildfires during July 4 Weekend in New York State


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos is urging New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety during the upcoming holiday weekend. Dry weather throughout the month of June has increased the risk of fires. He says “Recognizing the temptation to set off fireworks this weekend, DEC is encouraging New Yorkers to remember that in addition to being dangerous and in some cases, illegal, fireworks can start wildfires.” There are currently three active wildfires in the state: one in St. Lawrence County; one in Herkimer County; and one in Tompkins County. Collectively, these fires are burning nearly 11 acres of land, and in some cases are 18 inches deep, requiring a pump operation with large volumes of water. The majority of the state remains at a moderate risk for fires, meaning that any outdoor fire can spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires. Fireworks are in the top 12.

– By Michael Baldwin, WEBO News