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DEC to conduct prescribed burns in Schuyler and Steuben counties

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced plans for prescribed burns in Schuyler and Steuben counties this spring, aiming to enhance wildlife habitats and mitigate wildfire risks. Qualified burn bosses are scheduled to manage controlled fires in areas such as Coon Hollow State Forest and West Hill State Forest, along with the Canisteo River Basin, through early May. These efforts are part of a broader strategy to train additional staff in wildlife firefighting techniques while preserving ecological balance.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos highlighted the importance of prescribed burns in achieving ecological objectives and preventing wildfires. By carefully reducing the accumulation of potential fire fuel, such as wood and litter, these burns are intended to safeguard public safety and protect infrastructure. The DEC emphasizes that these controlled burns are conducted under strict conditions to ensure they align with land management goals.

In preparation for the burns, the DEC has developed detailed burn plans, considering weather conditions to ensure the safety and effectiveness of each operation. Last year, similar burns were carried out to benefit rattlesnake habitats in Cameron Mills State Forest and Helmer Creek Wildlife Management Area. Information on the outcomes of the upcoming burns in Coon Hollow State Forest, West Hill State Forest, and the Canisteo River Basin will be shared by the DEC post-completion, underscoring their commitment to transparency and ecological stewardship.