Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 18, 2005

Open Burning Discouraged in Oswego County

Fulton - A rash of brush fires in Oswego County during the past weekend has prompted Oswego County Fire Coordinator John Hinds to ask residents to refrain from any type of open burning.

"The ground cover conditions are extremely dry," Hinds said. "The spring winds and warm sun tend to catch a spark and a fire can get out of control very quickly. It's an extremely dangerous situation."

Firefighters throughout the county battled 24 fires on Saturday, and 16 fires by 5 p.m. Sunday.

"Many of them were started by people cleaning their yards, and at least one was caused by a discarded cigarette. The fires have burned multiple acres at a time, and damaged several outbuildings such as garages and sheds," said Hinds.

Over half of the volunteer fire departments in the county were out battling fires this weekend.

"The volunteer resources will be particularly stretched this week," Hinds said.

Not only are many volunteer firefighters unavailable during daytime working hours, many people are away for spring break, and children are out of school.

"We're asking people to be extremely cautious," Hinds said. He urged parents to ask their children to be cautious as well. "A fire can spread quickly and the garden hoses that people use to try to control fires may not help," the fire coordinator stressed.

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