Fast-moving fire continues to rage in NY park, forcing evacuations

Posted at 8:02 AM, May 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-05 08:02:41-04

SUMMITVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire at the southern edge of the Catskill Mountains has forced homeowners to evacuate as it continued to burn Tuesday morning.

The fire, which started just before noon on Sunday in the Town of Mamakating, has affected more than 1,700 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest.

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Department asked some residents in the Cragsmoor area to play it safe and leave their homes.

Sullivan County safety officials said more than 20 fire companies are trying to prevent the fire from spreading as they work to extinguish the flames.

Officials said no homes have been damaged yet because the fire has been confined mainly to the forest.

The blaze is believed to have been started by a homeowner burning debris outdoors.

Flames ripped through the forest during back-to-back days of summer-like weather with hot, dry conditions. Temperatures in the area of the blaze are expected to climb near 80 degrees Tuesday but dip down to 68 degrees Wednesday, with a chance of showers in the forecast.