Sunday, March 13th proved to be not only a gorgeous day for a small town parade, but also dangerously dry in the Catskills. (Scroll to end for parade slideshow)
Five days after the Hubbell Homestead Fire in Delaware County, brush fires continue to pop up.
Roxbury Fire Department Fire Chief Ken Davie went on to explain the lack of snow load this year has left the ground unsaturated, and allowed for grasses to stand tall and dry out, instead of flattening down.
Sunday’s St. Paddy’s Day festivities were still underway when a 12:48 pm tone rang out at the Roxbury Fire Department. With the majority of the firefighters and trucks at the parade in Halcottsville, it was a scramble to reach the Denver brush fire.
Chief Davie reported the resident of the house below the caught field had been burning a bit of brush in a barrel, and a spark flew.
“People need to be aware and pay attention…there is a brush fire in Davenport [Delaware County] right now…there could possibly be 1/2 a dozen fires by the end of today,” said Davie.
The NYDEC has issued a burn ban beginning March 16, 2016 and ending May 14, 2016.
According to the March 13 press release “all residential brush burning is prohibited in smaller communities during the state’s historically high fire-risk period from March 16 through May 14,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens.
“This time of year has the most risk of fires and the risk is even greater this year due to the extremely mild winter we’ve seen across the state,” Commissioner Martens said.
Ignoring the ban is a serious offense:
Violators of the open burning state regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC’s website.
“It’s a danger zone right now,” said Fire Chief Ken Davie.
Parade photos by Mark Andre | Fire photos by Rebecca Andre