September 1, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Provides Update on State's Response to Napanoch Point Wildfire at Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Governor Hochul Provides Update on State's Response to Napanoch Point Wildfire at Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Fire is Currently Approximately 160 Acres

State Forest Rangers Continue Leading Multi-Agency Incident Command of State and Local Partners, National Guard; 20 Quebec Firefighters Arriving Today

Governor Kathy Hochul today provided an update on the coordinated effort to contain the Napanoch Point wildland fire burning in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. With the State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers leading the incident response in cooperation with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State Police, Ulster County, and many other State and local partners, the Governor recently deployed additional State assets including personnel and Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Twenty firefighters from Quebec arrived in New York today to support the response. Currently more than 200 firefighters, bulldozer operators, pilots, and other professional staff and volunteers are working to contain the fire that is currently estimated at 160 acres in size.

"We continue to track the fire burning at Minnewaska State Park Preserve and are deploying the necessary resources to contain the fire and keep New Yorkers safe," Governor Hochul said. "New York State is not known for the expansive and destructive wildfires seen out West, but they do occur and continue to be a danger, especially with the increase of drought-fueled climate change impacts that require us to be prepared for all types of extreme weather. I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and thank our first responders and service members who are working around the clock to protect our communities."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/kuSuRhWNk3M

The Napanoch Point fire in Minnewaska State Park Preserve started over the weekend as a result of a suspected lightning strike and spread to approximately 160 acres within the park. The rain received overnight Tuesday helped to slow fire spread yesterday and allowed firefighters to construct control lines. The fire may grow due to dry and windy conditions expected over the next several days. New York State continues to monitor the weather conditions. Two other nearby fires being addressed this week as part of the Shawangunk fire complex, Stony Kill and Wurtsboro, are now fully contained.

No homes or businesses are impacted by the fire at this time. Out of an abundance of caution to protect homes closest to the fire, DEC Forest Rangers and staff volunteers will be working in the town of Warwarsing near Berme Road to establish a contingency fire line.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve will be closed to all visitors through Labor Day weekend. The closure will be strictly enforced to protect the health and safety of visitors and allow park staff to focus on fighting the fire. Updates on the Park's status are available here. To find another destination to visit this weekend, check out the New York State Parks website.

Since the fires began, a coordinated effort of State and local resources has been on the ground attempting to suppress the fires. Firefighters are working in a joint unified command led by State Forest Rangers. Forest Rangers have significant experience in incident command and fire prevention strategies due to extensive training and cooperative wildland firefighting missions to other states. Additional multi-agency resources include New York State Police Aviation, which has committed two helicopters and four pilots each day, dropping more than 500 buckets of water since Sunday. Each of the two Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters has dumped 12 buckets of water every hour, a total of 24,600 gallon buckets, since being deployed Tuesday and remain on standby to assist. The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has also dispatched the State's Incident Management Team and several emergency communications experts to provide further support. The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control activated the State's Fire Mobilization and Mutual Aid Plan and Fire Operations Center to ensure the timely coordination of additional resources.

Twenty firefighters from Quebec, Canada, secured through the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact, arrived today. The Compact, established in the 1940s, provides the means for its member states and provinces to cope with fires that might be beyond the capabilities of a single member through information, technology and resource sharing (mutual aid) activities.

I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and thank our first responders and service members who are working around the clock to protect our communities."

Governor Kathy Hochul

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Seeing the fire's damage firsthand gives a deep appreciation for the incredible effort DEC's Forest Rangers are leading, as the professional and volunteer wildland firefighters and our many state, federal, and local partners address these difficult conditions. New York is grateful for the help of new forces from Quebec and the 109th Airlift Wing, and wish everyone a safe and successful mission. I also thank the community for their support of all those working to fight the fire."

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "I continue to be impressed by and grateful to the our park staff, partner agencies, and volunteers who working hard to fight this fire. The best way to support their work is to stay away until Minnewaska is again safe to visit. This weekend, please find another place to enjoy."

New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Our state agencies and local partners are working hand in hand to battle these fires and they can continue to count on DHSES for assistance and coordination until the fires are out. Fire danger remains high in the Mid-Hudson Region and I urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant and stay safe."

New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "I commend the tireless efforts of our Aviation Unit and state and local partners in combating this fire to prevent further devastation in the park preserve. We will continue to provide resources as needed until the fire is brought under control."

Major General Raymond Shields, the Adjutant General for New York, said, "The men and women of the New York National Guard are happy that we could assist in dealing with this fire. Our helicopter air crews dropped more than 52,000 gallons of water on the fire to get it under control, and our New York Air National Guard wildland fire crew is currently working side-by-side on the fire line. We are always happy when we can help out fellow New Yorkers."

Ulster County Executive Patrick K. Ryan said, "On behalf of our entire community, I want to thank the hundreds of brave firefighters and first responders risking their lives to fight this wildfire and keep us safe. I'd also like to thank Governor Hochul for her rapid response and strong leadership, as well as all of our state, local, and international partners who have mobilized to help us in our time of need. I'm very proud that in response to yet another tragic natural disaster in Ulster County, our entire community is coming together to protect and care for each other."

Wawarsing Town Supervisor Terry Houck said, "I've been very impressed with the coordinated response by state and local agencies who have been battling this wildfire for the past few days. I want to thank all of the first responders and the volunteer firemen and women who have done an incredible job fighting the fire. I also want to thank the countless community members for bringing food and water to our brave first responders. We can't thank you all enough."

Governor Hochul Provides Update on State's Response to Napanoch Point Wildfire at Minnewaska State Park Preserve

New York's Hudson Valley and Catskill regions remain at high fire danger risk (view the current Fire Danger Map), meaning outdoor fires have the potential to spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Fires may become serious and difficult to control unless successfully contained while small.

All campfires and open burning are currently banned in Mid-Hudson Region State Parks. Check parks.ny.gov for more information.

DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers and visitors to follow fire safety tips to reduce the risk of wildfires. For information on open burning and campfire safety in New York, go to DEC's Open Burning in New York and Fire Safety When Camping webpages. To report a wildfire, call 1-833-NYS-RANGERS and call 911 to report a wildfire.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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