April 18, 2008
Open Burning Discouraged in Oswego County
Fulton - A rash of brush fires in Oswego County during the past week 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 several fires during the past week. “Many of them were started by people cleaning their yards,” said Hinds.
“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.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Forest Protection has asked citizens throughout Central New York, including Oswego County, to refrain from burning trash or vegetation.
Higher than normal temperatures and low relative humidity over the past several days have brought the fire danger level to “very high” throughout the area. Dead grass and areas of light brush dry out within one to ten hours of sun under these conditions and ignite quickly. Fires in these lighter fuels are very volatile, move very quickly, and are difficult to control. Even light winds can lead to loss of control of a fire under these conditions.
“We're asking people to be extremely cautious,” said Hinds. He urges 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,” he said.
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