Wildfires should not only be on the mind of folks in the west as there have been a number of large wildland fires in the Northeastern United States even after the long wet winter. There were red flag warnings this last week for Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island. Many small brush fires were responded to in this area. According to an ABC Report about the Rhode Island Fire, “The flames broke out just before 11 a.m. Monday morning in a wooded area near Greenville Avenue, right between Route 6 and Route 44. Old tires dumped in the area caught fire creating plumes of black smoke that could be seen for miles. Johnston Firefighters, with the help of at least ten other departments, worked tirelessly to contain the fire. Crews were forced to pull miles worth of hose to reach the area.” Little rain, low humidity levels plus whipping winds contribute to the wildfire threat.
Upstate New York State also suffered from a large wildfire last week. According to an update from Glenn Coin on his article, Fast-moving wildfire in New York jumps highway, forces evacuations, “The wildfire in the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest ( Cragsmoor, NY) has now spread to 2,400 acres, and firefighters are battling to bring it under control.” Fifty people were forced to leave their homes.
My friend and former fellow Firewise Advisor Heidi Wagner lives in Cragsmoor. She said that they have not had a fire like this in the area in over 80 years. She told me that after the fire she and her community with her local fire department are going to be working together on a better communication plan and fire up the Firewise Communities program. She took care during the event to make sure that she knew where each pet was and had packed their food and medicine in case they had to evacuate. Which is a reminder that we need to think about our pets.
This is not a picture of a wildfire from out West but New York State.
Remember wildfires can and do happen throughout the United States no neighborhood is immune. Make sure that you have planned before a wildfire event using Firewise Principles.