Governor Cuomo Sends Out Warning To New Yorkers About Wildfire Risks For Labor Day Weekend

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is advising New Yorkers to expect warm and dry weather conditions for Labor Day weekend. As a result of warm and dry weather, the likelihood of wildfires could spread quickly causing disasters. Residents and visitors in the New York area are urged to exercise extreme caution when lighting campfires outside.

"Reckless behavior during these dry conditions can be a recipe for disaster," Governor Cuomo said.  "I urge everyone to stay safe and be responsible while enjoying the outdoors this holiday weekend in order to prevent avoidable dangers and senseless tragedies."  As of September 1 2015, National Drought Season has began and the hot and dry conditions that lead to droughts have arrived.  

Currently, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers will be working to extinguish six small wildfires, two fires in Suffolk County, two in eastern Catskills and two in the eastern Adirondacks.  These fires were possibly caused by campers that did not practice summer safety techniques.  An investigation is under way as to the causes of these fires and Rangers are continuing to contain the spread of more fires that could spread deep into soil conditions which will make it difficult to extinguish.

The Governor has left a few tips for New Yorkers and Visitors to practice for Labor Day Weekend:

Use a cooking stove instead of a campfire to prepare meals;

Use existing campfire rings when possible and keep fires small;

Scrape away litter, duff and any burnable material within a 10-foot diameter circle. This will keep the campfire from spreading;

Never leave a campfire unattended; and 

Drown the fire with water.  Make sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet.  Stir the remains, add more water and stir again.

In the Eastern Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area, campfires are prohibited along with all Department of Environmental Conservation state lands in Suffolk County.  New York State reminds people to be cautious while grilling food.  Remember, wildfire safety is everyone's responsibility, so do your part to keep New York safe.  Additional information regarding fire safety can be found at The Department of Environmental Conservation's Outdoor Fire Safety webpage for additional tips.  Questions regarding this news can be available at


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