Officials Wary of Possible Active Spring Fire Season
Local firefighters say they’re bracing for what could be an active spring brush fire season. Little snow cover could mean drier conditions through the spring, contributing to brush fire danger.
The National Weather Service happens to be issuing one of its four regular Hydrolic Outlook statements during the winter and spring this week. NOAA says snow depths and water equivalents remain relatively low over the region in spite of a recent snowfall. Officials say, for now the ground remains moist and partially frozen. This means the potential for flooding is below average in spite of headwaters running a little high. But with little or no ice coverage causing concerns for melting or ice dams, the impact on water levels is small.
Still, fire officials say, the lack of water at the surface can mean drier grasses and brush that could ignite from things like careless disposal of smoking material.
Firefighters were called to put out a smokey blaze along Route 17 in Binghamton February 24 in the First Ward, which slowed traffic for a time. That brush fire was believed to have been caused by a lit cigarette tossed from a passing vehicle.