CAROGA - Firefighters from several companies responded this morning to reports of a brush fire burning in eight acres in the woods near 2839 Route 10.
At 9:30 a.m. today, firefighters from the Caroga Lake, Ephratah, Meco, Rockwood and Sir William Johnson fire departments were sweeping and hosing the area to try and prevent any further fires from starting.
Caroga Lake Fire Chief Barbara DeLuca said fires could ignite again because of the heat expected later in the day.
An Ephratah firefighter works to keep a brush fire under control this morning in Caroga. (The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini)
"It's very hot, and it's very dry," DeLuca said. "What's happening is we're putting it out, and it's sparking back up because of these pine needles. Being in the woods ... it will be out, and it will still be hot and will spark out again. [It's like] when you throw pine needles on a fire."
No injuries or structural damage were reported as of about 10 a.m. today.
Danger throughout the region
The Adirondacks and the surrounding region are at "high fire danger" levels, the state Department of Environmental Conservation warned in a news release this week.
Recent warm and dry weather has created a high fire danger condition that allows wildfires to start easily and spread quickly.
Three other fires in the Adirondacks, one of which was started by an unattended campfire, had burned eight acres of wild lands by Thursday, the release said.
DEC strongly advises campers to be cautious with campfires:
- 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.
- Campfires are prohibited in Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.
In the release, DEC warned residents and visitors to avoid burning brush, especially from late morning through early evening and whenever windy conditions are present.
Never leave a fire unattended until it is completely out and all ashes and embers are cool.
Also, people should be cautious with barbecue grills; keep them away from brush, grass and other flammable materials. People should not dispose of charcoal ashes or embers until they are cool to the touch.
The illegal use of fireworks also can start wildfires and should be avoided, DEC warned.