Minnewaska State Park Fire Could Have Been ‘A 1,000 Acre Loss’
The blaze is said to be 100 percent contained and about 60 percent controlled. The state park will reopen this week, but some trails will remain closed.
Napanoch Point Fire at Minnewaska State Park Preserve Fully Contained
On Sunday, the Ulster County Government confirmed while the blaze is only a little over 50 percent controlled, the fire is now fully contained.
"After 8 operational days the Napanoch Point Fire at Minnewaska State Park Preserve is now 100% contained and 60% controlled, and is still an 📢active fire📢," Ulster County Government wrote on Facebook. "Operations will be turned over to Local DEC and Parks to complete the effort and begin remediation."
Twenty firefighters from Quebec arrived in the area on Thursday to help with the blaze. Over 200 firefighters, bulldozer operators, pilots and other professional staff and volunteers have been working to contain the fire.
"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 everyday to keep New Yorkers safe," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Fire Could Have Been 'A 1,000 Acre Loss'
The blaze burned through about 142 acres, but officials say without the help of over 200 firefighters it, could have burned through 1,000 acres.
"The hard work of over 200 firefighters a day, led by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers, and multiple coordinating agencies including NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State Police, other state and local partners, and the Quebec Wildland Firefighters, together prevented this from becoming a 1,000 acre loss," Ulster County Government added. "We cannot express enough thanks for their work on the suppression efforts!"
'Climate Change' Blamed For Fires Burning Across Hudson Valley
It’s believed a lightning strike and dry conditions started the fire. Gov. Hochul also said she believes climate change is to blame.
"I want to say, I do believe that this is a result of climate change. You go through all these years, seeing this happen out west and this extreme weather out west, but places like New York would watch from a distance. So, these are extremely dry conditions. We know it was a lightning strike."
Minnewaska State Park To Reopen
Minnewaska State Park was closed down early last week due to the fire. It's set to reopen to the public on Wednesday, September 7. However, the following trails will remain closed:
- Smiley Carriage Road from Ellenville to Lake Awosting
- High Point Carriage Road
- Berry Picker Footpath
- Mine Hole Footpath