Napanoch Point fire contained after 8 days

NAPANOCH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The forest fire that has been wreaking havoc for over a week in the Napanoch area of Minnewaska State Park has been fully contained, Governor Kathy Hochul’s office said Sunday. The State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Forest Rangers are leading the incident response in cooperation with the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, Ulster County, and many other state and local partners.

Response actions in the area will continue in the coming days with a smaller force of state and local experts as fire control efforts advance. Earlier this week, Governor Hochul deployed the National Guard to help fight the fire. 20 firefighters from Quebec arrived on Thursday to support the response. More than 200 firefighters, bulldozer operators, pilots, and other professional staff and volunteers have been working to contain the blaze all week.

“Over the past week, firefighting crews and staff from the state, local agencies, and the Province of Quebec have deployed to battle the Minnewaska State Park Preserve wildfire and today they were successful in fully containing the fire,” Governor Hochul said. “We took swift action, launched a coordinated response, and devoted every resource possible to help the first responders complete their mission. I thank all of them for their hard work, spending time away from their families and working tirelessly every day to keep New Yorkers safe.”

The Napanoch Point fire started Saturday, Aug. 27, as a result of an unexpected lightning strike and spread to about 142 acres within the park. Rain overnight Tuesday helped to slow fire spread and allowed firefighters to construct control lines.

By Thursday night, the blaze was 40% contained by those control lines, and by Friday night, the fire was 75% contained. The Napanoch Point fire is 60% controlled and the emphasis over the coming days will be to address the areas of heat to achieve full control. Rain arriving tonight is expected to assist the ongoing response actions, and smoke and heat may continue as fire control efforts advance. Two other nearby fires addressed last week as part of the Shawangunk fire complex, Stony Kill and Wurtsboro, are also fully contained.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve will reopen Wednesday, Sept. 7. Some areas of the preserve will remain closed indefinitely while work takes place to remediate impacts to parkland from the firebreaks, minimize erosion, and prevent the introduction of invasive species.

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