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March 31, 2006

Oswego County Fire Coordinator Warns Against Open Burning

FULTON – Less than average precipitation and warmer overall temperatures make fire hazards a high risk this spring, and Oswego County Fire Coordinator John Hinds is discouraging area residents from open burning.

“The dry season is beginning,” said Hinds. “As people begin cleaning their yards, we’re asking them to be extremely cautious.”

In early April 2005, volunteer fire departments throughout the county battled more than 40 fires in one weekend. “Volunteer resources were stretched, and manpower quickly became an issue,” Hinds said. “It’s even more difficult during the week when volunteer firefighters are working daytime hours.”

Hinds said the following safety tips should be followed:

  • Obtain open burning permits when they are required.
  • Be careful when burning brush.
  • Be especially cautious around new structures built in wooded areas.
  • Don’t leave a fire unattended.
  • When burning anything, make sure there is a ring of at least three feet around the fire that is cleared of grass and debris.
  • If a fire burns out of control, call 911 immediately.

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