KENNEDY – The Falconer Volunteer Fire Department battled a seven-acre grass fire Wednesday afternoon in the Kennedy Fire District.
Falconer Fire was dispatched to a large field fire in the Kennedy Fire District. Engine 402 went en route with a full crew of interior Firefighters. 500′ of cross lays were deployed to fight the fire where roughly 7 acres burned. Frewsburg equipment and CCEMS Medic 74 also assisted on scene. The cause of the fire was not released.
The fire is a reminder that the burn ban is in effect through May 14, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said with spring here, conditions for wildfires will become heightened and residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State.
“While many people associate wildfires with the western United States, the start of spring weather and the potential for dry conditions increases the risk for wildfires in New York,” Seggos said. “New York prohibits residential burning during the coming high-risk fire season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property, and natural resources. The ban has been extremely effective in reducing the number of wildfires, and we’re encouraging New Yorkers to put safety first.”
Warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. DEC posts daily a fire danger rating map and forecast during fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App available on DEC’s website. Currently, wildfire conditions in the state are low risk.
Historically, open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall’s debris, dead grass, and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.
New York first enacted strict restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce air pollution. State regulations allow residential brush fires in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents during most of the year, but prohibit such burning in spring when most wildfires in New York occur. Since the ban was established, the eight-year annual average number of spring fires decreased by 42.6 percent, from 2,649 in 2009, to 1,521 in 2018.