Hudson Valley residents urged to use caution due to high risk for brush fires

The News 12 Storm Watch Team says there's a fire weather watch in effect for Dutchess and Ulster counties through midweek.

News 12 Staff

Apr 10, 2023, 9:41 PM

Updated 374 days ago

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The director of Rockland Fire & Emergency Services says parts of the Hudson Valley are at high risk for brush fires and is urging residents not to burn any debris.
Firefighters have been busy putting out brush fires like the one on Hook Mountain in Rockland. Chris Kear, the director of Rockland Fire & Emergency Services, says brush fires are manpower intensive.
"Unfortunately, in the last few days, we've had about five unauthorized burns in Rockland County," he said. "People burning something in their backyard, brush, debris, garbage."
Kear, who is also a volunteer firefighter, responded over the weekend to an area of Harriman State Park for a brush fire along with several other departments. He says it took about two hours to put the fire out.
"Most of the time it's carelessness – people hiking who discard a cigarette," says Kean. "People who are possibly camping out who have a campfire or are cooking out and they don't effectively extinguish the fire."
The News 12 Storm Watch Team says there's a fire weather watch in effect for Dutchess and Ulster counties through midweek.
New York's annual burn ban is also in effect until May 14. The state's Department of Environmental Conservation says wildfires have decreased by 40% since the spring burn ban started in 2009.


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