Statewide burn ban till May 14


By Patsy Nicosia

For the fourth year, DEC has imposed a statewide ban on open burning through May 14.
That's in addition to a year-round ban on burning trash.
There are exceptions, said Schoharie County Fire Coordinator Matt Brisley: BBQ grills and small, attended campfires or fires in contained rings are allowed as are training exercises by fire departments and some agricultural burning.
"It's extremely dry out there," Mr. Brisley said, "especially with the strong winds we had over the weekend. That top layer of grass is extremely flammable and will burn quickly if it gets started."
That was the case in Sharon Springs Sunday when flames from a barn fire on Route 20, west of Leesville crossed the road, igniting a shed and causing a grass fire there.
"The wind was pretty impressive," Mr. Brisley said. "At times, it was difficult to stand up."
The cause of the fire, which destroyed a barn and travel trailer at the Ginny and Jarry Wilday home on Route 20 hasn't been determined.
More than a half-dozen departments from two counties responded to the fire, which was spotted by a passerby and called in at about 9:15am.
The heat of the flames melted a section of siding on the rear of the home before firefighters got it under control, Mr. Brisley said.
"They did a good job," he said. "There were actually two fires going at once."
There were no animals in the barn at the time of the fire and it's not considered suspicious, Mr. Brisley added.