Sunday, April 20, 2008

NY: Minnewaska state park

Two days ago a 30-acre fire about 40 miles northwest of New York City was reported to be under control, but today it spread to over 3,000 acres. Most of the fire is in Minnewaska state park. This is the largest fire in the state park in the last 50 years. Approximately 250 firefighters from 27 local and volunteer departments are working on the fire.

More information from the Daily Freeman:

The 20,000-acre park and part of U.S. Route 44/state Route 55 have remained closed, and over 245 personnel from various state and local agencies were on the scene Saturday, trying to beat back the blaze.

The forest fire is almost entirely contained within the boundaries of the park, but residents of the small Kerhonkson Heights community, which has about 40 homes, were told to prepare for evacuation if necessary, according to Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Yancey Roy. Although no evacuation order has been issued, firefighters are taking precautions to protect residents.

"We have virtually a fire truck in every driveway," Roy said.

The fire began Thursday afternoon, and was reportedly contained at about 30 acres that night. But the flames continued to spread, reaching 200 acres Friday afternoon, 1,000 acres Friday night, and 2,300 acres by Saturday morning, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The map shows heat sources as detected by thermal satellites.

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