Brush fire spreads across 8 acres in Perth; Region remains at high fire risk, officials say

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PERTH A fast-spreading brush fire completely burned off about eight acres of field in Perth before it was stopped just short of the tree line on Wednesday, according to Steven Santa Maria, director of the Fulton County Emergency Management Department.

The fire that broke out in a farm field on Nadler Road was called in to fire crews around 3:48 p.m.

Crews from nine fire departments in Fulton, Montgomery and Saratoga counties responded to the scene of the fast moving brush fire.

“It had old growth and some new growth and it just ignited and spread very quickly,” Santa Maria said.

Firefighters battled the blaze with brush truck fire engines, all terrain vehicles equipped with fire apparatuses and tools they carried in, including water backpacks, shovels and rakes.

“A lot of times they have to do it by hand,” Santa Maria said. “These fires are very, very labor intensive, especially when they cover a large area.”

The fire nearly reached the tree line of a heavily wooded area and threatened a large barn before its spread was stopped.

An approximately eight acre area of the field was completely burned off before the fire was put out after a little over two hours.

No injuries or damage to structures was reported. The cause of the fire remained under investigation on Thursday.

Santa Maria commended fire crews for stopping the blaze before it became more severe by reaching the woods as the region remains under an elevated risk of wildfire spread.

“We really need people to be extremely cautious. The whole state is at an elevated fire risk,” Santa Maria said. “Any little spark can ignite the surface very easily and it’s going to spread really quickly.”

The eastern part of the state has been at an elevated risk for multiple days due to dry fuels and low relative humidity that can cause fires to grow and quickly spread out of control in the dry conditions, according to special weather statements issued by the National Weather Service.

The weather agency has stated the risk is especially high for the Mohawk Valley and areas of the Capital Region.

There have been several minor brush fires in Fulton and Montgomery counties in recent days, according to Santa Maria and Rick Sager, director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Department.

“It’s been pretty busy,” Santa Maria said.

The special weather statements have been issued while the statewide burn ban ordered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation remains in effect through Saturday.

Even after the ban is lifted, Santa Maria urged area residents to exercise extreme caution when burning allowed materials and to obtain a permit when required. Anyone with questions can contact their local fire department or emergency management office.

“We’re asking people to please be careful with any type of outside burning,” Santa Maria said. “We don’t want any danger to personal property or firefighters.”

Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.

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By Ashley Onyon

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