Forecasters Warn of Elevated Fire Risk Across New York State
Forecasters are warning residents that conditions are favorable for rapid fire spread across New York state, as warm weather and low humidities combine with gusty winds from the southwest. The National Weather Service also says that a lack of recent rainfall is contributing to the elevated risk for wildfires as well.
The statewide burn ban ended May 14, though that does not necessarily decrease the risk for fires, according to the NWS. Highs will cool off by midweek with temperatures in the 60s by day, and there even could be the possibility of a late-season frost by early morning Thursday.
Why Have the Skies Been So Hazy?
CBS says that the hazy skies across New York and the Northeast are actually from wildfires that are raging right now in northern Alberta. According to The New York Times, there are 88 active wildfires in Canada burning across nearly one million acres.
*** UPDATE: According to the CBC, as of Monday afternoon, 90 wildfires were burning in forest protection areas across the province, with 23 of them out of control. ***
The smoke is actually riding the current jetstream which takes it all the way to the Arctic before falling back down south over New York, according to CBS.
16 New York Counties Already Record 26 Wildfires During Recent Burn Ban
April's record heat and dry weather brought fires that quickly spread across the state. According to the New York DEC, from April 11 to 17, Forest Rangers were called to 26 wildfires in 16 counties that burned nearly 1,000 acres of land.
The DEC says the state's largest fire actually happened right in the middle of the Hudson Valley. Last month's largest fires, according to sources, were in the town of Deerpark in Orange County, which burned 300 acres.
Other large fires were felt in the town of Richmondville, where the fire burned 241 acres and spanned Otsego and Schoharie counties, according to reports. ABC also reported that multiple brush fires broke out in Rockland County, as officials evacuated residents in areas and shut down main routes last month. LoHud reports that around 70 acres were burned.
Smaller brush fires were also reported in Ulster, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties.