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Fire danger is still high, despite rain

Lightning caused wildfire in Loon Lake

July 27, 2012
By MIKE LYNCH - Outdoors Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Despite the wet weather recently, the state Department of Environmental Conservation continues to warn the public that fire danger remains high.

During the rain Thursday afternoon, DEC forest rangers and local firefighters fought a wildfire in Loon Lake that had been sparked by a lightning strike, according to department spokeswoman Lori Severino in Albany. It burned less than a 10th of an acre before it was contained.

A weekly information bulletin for backcountry users, sent out Thursday by the DEC, stated that "recent rains were localized and still not enough to counter the many weeks of dry weather."

It went on to recommend that campers use stoves instead of campfires. It said half of all fires started this July were by campfires that weren't put out completely.

"If you do have a campfire, be sure to: Use existing campfire rings; Keep fires small; Scrape away all litter, duff, and other burnable materials within a 10 foot diameter circle," the bulletin states.

In addition to fires, the dry weather this summer has helped lead to an increase in bear activity because some of their natural food sources have dried up. The berry crop has been relatively poor in the northern Adirondacks this summer. Early in the summer, green vegetation that bears prefer was scarcer than normal because of the dry, warm weather.

"Campers should exercise proper food management," states the bulletin. "The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks and encourage throughout the Adirondacks. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters."



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