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Sam's Point Fire Is Fully Contained

Courtesy of Kevin Wisely, Director, NYS Office of Emergency Management

A brush fire that began Saturday in the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County is now fully contained.


The Sam’s Point fire that remains under investigation began Saturday in Minnewaska State Park, about 1.5 miles from the hamlet of Cragsmoor. It’s an area that is steep and difficult to access. James Hay is spokesman for the New York State Incident Management Team. He says the fire scorched 2,068 acres.

“This one was extremely tough because of the topography, the geography, the hills, the rocks, the way that the fire load, the vegetation, it could move quickly in difficult areas to get to,” Hay says.

Hay says the fire was 60 percent contained earlier Thursday and expected about 100 percent containment by Thursday night.

“We had very little, if any, hot spots today. They did what they call cold trailing and some mop up,” says Hay. “They went in as far as 50 feet on some off the fire line and as far as 100 feet in just to check for hotspots and to ensure there was no smoldering or burning in there.”

Hay says no structures were damaged.

“The communication towers that are on top, there were the only ones that they classified as threatened, no homes,” says Hay. “Again, nothing was damaged, not even the towers.”

Hay says two firefighters suffered minor injuries and one was treated for dehydration. Hay says 243 personnel were on the ground with 43 agencies involved on Thursday.

“Overall, we’re probably looking, since the start of this incident, we had a total of somewhere near 90, 91 fire departments responding throughout the course of the event and maybe nine different EMS companies respond,” Hay says.

If the fire remains fully contained heading into the weekend, Hay explains what is next.

“What will happen primarily is eventually they’ll take a look at the whole fire area, they’ll see how cooled down it is, see how well the containment lines are made, and they’ll make a decision to start  downsizing some of the resources, probably give it back to Parks [ and the DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] forest rangers,” says Hay. “The volunteers will more than likely not be required to come back for an operation, but you never know. The weather is a big factor here.”

In May 2015, a wildfire scorched more than 2,400 acres in the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest in Sullivan and Ulster Counties. 

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