Last week, Forest Rangers across the Hudson Valley were extra busy putting out several fires that started across the region.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is reporting that there were 8 wildlife fires (one being a prescribed burn) that ignited across the state between April 11th and April 16th of this year.

3 of those wildland fires were reported in the Hudson Valley.

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The DEC describes wildland fires as naturally occurring events in wildland areas adding:

Periodic wildland fires reduce the amount of "fuel" (dead branches, brush, leaf litter, etc.) in the forest, preventing larger more destructive fires. Periodic fires also help promote the growth of certain species of trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and wild flowers. Wildland fires help maintain healthy, natural landscapes. However, wildland fires can also result in disastrous loss of life, property, and natural resources.

According to a DEC press release the wildfires took place in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, either started by a landowner or by an unfortunate series of events. In the press release, the DEC explains that on April 15th around 3:45 PM in the Town of Olive (Ulster County), a downed powerline caused a fire to burn approximately four acres of land. Forest Rangers Franceschina, Martin, and Rusher were all on the scene to put the fire out.  The DEC writes that this specific wildland fire was "officially declared out on April 16 at 12:38 p.m."

Forest Rangers Franceschina, Martin, and Rusher were busy on April 15th as they were also on the scene of another wildland fire in Wawarsing (Ulster County) at Foordmore Road. The 3 Forest Rangers received a call for 911 backup at 4:50 p.m. The fire spread 12 acres and was officially put out the following day.

A Dutchess County man is responsible for scorching 38 acres of private land back on April 14th after illegally burning debris. The Town of Washington man was ticketed for violating the New York State Burn Ban.

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The DEC reminds New Yorkers that the burn ban is in effect until May 14th. The burn ban was introduced in 2009 and is enforced to "prevent wildfires and protect communities during heightened conditions for wildfires each spring."

For more details about the New York State Burn Ban visit the DEC FIREWISE New York website.

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