Council of Governments talks wildfire in response to Sugar Bay

In light of several November wildfires, there’s some discussion regarding whether county-level wildfire planning should be revisited.

The issue was discussed during a recent Council of Governments meeting.

Allegheny National Forest District Ranger Rich Hatfield said that there is a prescribed fire window in the fall that “typically doesn’t happen.”

The 62-acre wildfire at Sugar Bay was, however, one of three that broke out last month.

Hatfield said ANF crews also responded to a fire in Allegany State Park in New York as well as “something small at the Beanfields” in Irvine.

He told the COG that there was “not a lot of tree mortality” at Sugar Bay and that the area was part of a prescribed fire planned for next year.

“There’s definitely some flammable conditions that time of year,” he said.

County Planner Dan Glotz asked whether the county’s wildlife protection plan – which was developed primary to secure grant funding – should be updated,

“We have fairly well equipped most of the strike team members” across Warren County, COG Chair Paul Pascuzzi said.

Rich Barrett said that crews use more motorized equipment in response to declining manpower but acknowledged that there is “so much of the ANF you can’t take (motorized equipment) into.”


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