RAY BROOK - State officials are warning campers and boaters about a high fire danger and low water levels due to hot weather and a lack of rain over the past 10 days.
The Adirondacks and the surrounding region are at high fire danger levels, The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday. That means wildfires are prone to starting easily and can spread quickly with devastating effects.
Three fires in the Adirondacks, one of which was started by an unattended campfire, have already burned 8 acres of wild lands. Another that took place just hours after the advisory was issued consumed about 2 acres along the railroad tracks between Ray Brook and Lake Placid.
DEC strongly advises campers to use existing campfire rings when possible, keep fires small, never leave a campfire unattended and drown the fire with water. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.
DEC is also warning residents and visitors to avoid burning brush. The agency planned to issue a boating warning because some lake and river levels have dropped to the point where boaters need to watch for rocks.
With temperatures expected to top 90 degrees today around the state, Rochester will open cooling centers at libraries, open fire hydrants and extend hours at city pools.