The New Paltz Fire Department has updated the progress of the woods fire that is still burning on the Mohonk Preserve mountain ridge. In a press released that they posted on their Facebook page around 10 AM today (August 27,2020), they broke down what transpired over the last 24 hours to fight the fire. They also included information for the public and residents who live in the area.

According to the press release the woods fire was reported around 2:48 PM on Wednesday, August 26th. When Chief Cory Wirthmann arrived on the scene smoke could be scene coming from the ridge directly west of Cragswood Road. Various agencies assisted in securing the location to access the source of the fire. Town of New Paltz Highway Department, Village of New Paltz DPW, Mohonk Preserve Rangers, Ulster County Department of Emergency Services and the Tillson Fire Department all aided in establishing an access point. A drone was used to determine the fire's exact location.

Photo credit: Catherine MaryPine - photo used with permission via Facebook

Many other agencies have assisted with fighting the fire which is estimated to be covering about 5 acres of the Mohonk Preserve ridge line. According to the release there are currently 5 crews from the Gardiner FD, Highland FD, Accord FD, Mohonk Preserve Rangers, NYS Forest Rangers and New Paltz FD working a fire line and making efforts to contain the fire's spread. Chief Wirthmann also stated that some unexpected rain has helped with their efforts.

Crews are expected to work throughout the day and they expect to release more information later today. At the moment it is unclear how the fire started. Residence in the area need to know that Cragswood Road is shutdown and can only be accessed by local traffic.The Mohonk Preserve Spring Farm Trail Head is also closed until further notice. People in the area should expect to see and smell smoke throughout the day. Anyone in need of information should contact the Public information officer for this incident which is currently Chief Wirthmann, He can be reached via email at firechief@newpaltzfire.org.

The lack of rain this summer has caused dry conditions in parts of the Hudson Valley. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has fire safety tips we should all be familiar with before enjoying a fire even in our own back yards,