“It’s a Tinderbox” Napanoch Fire Burns in Ulster County
Just days after Hudson Valley residents voiced concerns over wildfires burning in the surrounding mountains, fears have materialized in Ulster County. Close enough to see from Ellenville, NY, a wildfire (recently dubbed the Napanoch Fire) is currently burning in Minnewaska State Park.
Napanoch Fire in Ellenville, NY
"Wildfire near Ellenville", a local resident posted to Facebook on Saturday, sharing photos of the glowing flames as they burned through Sam's Point in Minnewaska State Park. While any fire is dangerous, what may be the most concerning part is just how close the fire is to thousands of Ellenville residents.
Wildfires in the Hudson Valley
Visible from both the Ellenville Hospital and Walmart parking lots, the fire was a major worry for many people in the Hudson Valley. "We were watching helicopters dump water on it this afternoon this drought is scary", shared an Ellenville woman on Sunday. "This will get bigger! I'm in the woods a lot and it's a tinderbox everywhere!", warned another commenter. While many other posts lamented the lack of action by local officials to enact burn bans or close hiking trails, others chimed in to remind them that in fact there were precautions currently in place.
Official Comments on Napanoch Fire in Ellenville, NY
Recently, Rosendale, NY's Fire Marshall reinstated the town's burn ban, halting permit distribution for larger fires and revoking permits that had already been issued. Another resident also shared information from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) that many trails, including Smiley Carriage Rd, Berry Picker Foot Path, and Mine Hole Trail were closed, although this was in direct response to the active fire.
The Ulster County Government website shared that the Napanoch Fire was likely caused by a lightning strike, and that unfortunately it is still expected to spread further before it is successfully extinguished. Luckily, no residents are currently in any danger from the fire, they said.