N.Y. Official: More ‘Prescribed Burns’ Needed to Prevent Brush Fires

April 19, 2012

A Long Island official says budget cutbacks of “prescribed burns” have helped imperil thousands of acres of woodland during brush fires in recent days.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko is calling for a “six-figure” reinvestment in the program. Lesko says forestry experts advise conducting burns of underbrush as a way to prevent widespread damage from uncontrolled forest fires.

He says municipalities struggling with tight budgets have cut spending on the burns. He says that trend needs to be reversed.

Last week, more than 1,000 acres of Long Island Pine Barrens were charred.

A second fire on Tuesday damaged more than 100 acres and imperiled hundreds of nearby homes.

Drought conditions, along with strong winds, have created hazardous conditions across the metropolitan region.

Latest Comments

  • April 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm
    LI says:
    This region of Long Island actually requires burning to stay healthy. The seeds of the pine trees in the Pine Barrens are in cones and are sealed in pine tar. The periodic f... read more
  • April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    reality bites says:
    And getting rid of deadwood allows the 'undergrowth' the chance to flourish.
  • April 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    reality bites says:
    Wouldn't it make more sense to drag out as much deadwood as possible and chip it into pulp or mulch? Much cleaner for the environment, with byproduct possibilities. In fact, t... read more
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