Wildfires can have a devastating effect on the environment, leaving the soil charred, barren and unable to absorb water. This can create conditions that are conducive to flash floods and mudflows, and can put people in the region at an even greater risk of flooding due to recent wildfires. Large-scale wildfires can also dramatically alter terrain and ground conditions, as vegetation normally absorbs rain, reducing runoff. The risk of flooding remains significantly higher until vegetation is restored up to 5 years after a wildfire. Federal, state and county park officials use weather data and fire hazard classification, in coordination with other local officials, through the Fire Meteorology Subcommittee of the Wildfire Working Group, to make decisions about restricting or prohibiting the use of fire and other activities in parks and other public lands for the sake of public safety.
Howard Safir, commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, offered to send 10 engine companies to help Suffolk County. The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for investigating and determining the cause and origin of all fires that occur in the city of Brookhaven. The fire hazard rating does not predict the likelihood of a fire occurring in an area, but rather it helps predict how a fire will behave once it starts. In addition to stopping traffic on the highway, the fire closed the airport and shut down Long Island rail service east of Speonk. In addition to the Pine Barrens fire on Long Island this week, another fire at the National Gateway recreational area in Queens threatened residential areas before it could be contained. Fire hazard is a large scale assessment and classification system that helps fire managers determine how wildfires may behave within a specific geographical area, which is typically 50,000 to 100,000 acres in size, such as the Central Pine Barrens region. There were no deaths or serious burns, but more than 600 people were evacuated from their homes and businesses when the rapid fire advanced to the southeast in a three-mile arc of orange flames that widened and crossed roads, halting traffic and railroad tracks on Long Island, disrupting all service in the area. When it is determined that fires are incendiary in nature, coordination begins with the SCPD Arson Brigade.
The Fire Marshal, Senior Fire Chiefs, and Fire Chiefs are sworn peace officers in accordance with the New York State Criminal Procedure Act. The areas of Suffolk County that caught fire this week are mainly composed of pine forests and scrubland that haven't burned in decades, and have become especially vulnerable because of a drought that has affected the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region. As nightfall approached, the fire threatened dozens of homes — ranches and divided levels that housed about 200 people — in a development west of the Suffolk County airport, as well as the airport itself. Yesterday, the last remnants of the fire were controlled, and firefighters were looking forward to a rest when a new fire broke out. The fire hazard rating appears on Smokey Bear's fire hazard signs to notify the public when the fire hazard rating is significant enough to take special precautions beyond normal safeguards to ensure that human activities do not cause a fire. The Center then transmits this information when the fire hazard index is moderate or higher to volunteer fire services at approximately the same time every day to provide general information on what might be difficult to contain a fire if it catches. Suffolk County is no stranger to wildfires.
In recent years there have been several large-scale fires that have caused significant damage to property and put lives at risk. To ensure public safety it is important for residents to understand how fires start and spread so they can take appropriate precautions. This guide will provide an overview of what causes fires in Suffolk County as well as how they are classified according to their potential danger.
What Causes Fires?Fires can be caused by natural events such as lightning strikes or human activities such as careless disposal of cigarettes or campfires left unattended. In Suffolk County most fires are caused by human activities such as arson or accidental ignition from outdoor burning or recreational activities.
Fire Hazard ClassificationFire hazard classification is used by federal, state and county park officials to make decisions about restricting or prohibiting activities such as campfires or other open burning.
The classification system takes into account weather data such as temperature, humidity and wind speed as well as vegetation type and fuel load. Fires are classified according to their potential danger with Class 1 being low danger and Class 5 being extreme danger.
Smokey Bear's Fire Hazard SignsSmokey Bear's fire hazard signs are posted throughout Suffolk County parks and other public lands when there is an elevated risk of wildfire due to weather conditions or fuel load. The signs indicate what level of precaution should be taken when engaging in activities such as campfires or open burning.
Preventing WildfiresThe best way to prevent wildfires is by taking precautions when engaging in activities such as campfires or open burning. It is important to never leave a campfire unattended and always make sure it is completely extinguished before leaving an area.
It is also important to never throw cigarettes out car windows or onto dry grassy areas where they can easily ignite a wildfire.