Western New York's Burning Ban

5:28 PM, Jul 16, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY -  This summer's dry spell here in Western New York, and other parts of the state, has already prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to issue a 90-day residential burning ban.

We've already seen a few local fires have been started by careless burnings.

Saturday's grass fire in Evans was a perfect example.

The town's fire chief told 2 On Your Side, the fire was started after a home owner was purposely burning brush and other yard debris.

Drought conditions in Western New York has already led Grand Island officials to urge all residents there to conserve water.

Firefighters on Grand Island told 2 On Your Side it won't take much for fields and dry lawns to quickly catch on fire. Although the burn ban is in effect, small bonfires are still okay for now.

Mark Sadkowski, a 2nd Assistant Fire Chief for the Grand Island Fire Company said, "Fires are going to spread farther and faster. So if you choose to have some type of a fire in your backyard be sure that you have a water source big enough that you can control the fire if it start extending a little bit beyond where you thought it might." 

Before the burning ban went into effect a few fires already scorched several acres of dry vegetation around parts of Western New York. Tiger Schmittendorf,  the Deputy Fire Coordinator for the Erie County Emergency Services told 2 On Your Side, another state agency is already working to help prevent more fires.

"The Department of Environmental Conservation has the authority to enforce that ban, and there could be fines and other charges involved," said Schmittendorf.

Click here to read Cuomo's burn ban letter.

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