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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

Brush fire in Batavia burns too close for comfort, fire danger rating 'high'

By Jaurdyn Johnson,


On Sunday after 4 p.m., a brush fire broke out in the Dewitt Recreational Area in Batavia and the flames spread about 1.5 acres. The fire stirred up some uneasy feelings from nearby businesses on Main Street.

“It's a little scary because right next to us is a gas station," said Lisa Pullinzi, manager of Blondie's Sip N'Dip.

The Batavia City Fire Department responded to the fire Sunday afternoon and called in the Town Fire Department for their brush truck, the fire was put out later Sunday evening.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says brush fires can occur naturally but are also caused by human activities.

The NYSDEC issues a map of the state which rates the level of fire danger by region, known as the Fire Danger Map.

There are six different fire danger ratings:

  • Low (Green)
  • Moderate (Blue)
  • High (Yellow)
  • Very High (Orange)
  • Extreme (Red)
  • Red Flag

According to the map , the entire state has a high fire danger rating.

Landscaper Tim Young is telling his clients to keep hot barbecues and smokers away from mulch or tall grass.

“If you've got big piles, keep them 18 to 20 to 30 feet away from anything that can catch on fire because they can ignite faster than the mulch you have around your house," said Young.

Young says this time of year is usually the best time to keep everything watered.

“When you water your lawn, water your mulch. Most people don't think about that watering your mulch because it keeps that moisture and cools that off and makes it less likely to ignite," said Young.

Pullinzi says Sunday’s brush fire burned a little too close for comfort — but also reminded her of why she loved working at the ice cream shop.

"I love it here, I love getting up in the morning, I love coming in here and doing what I have to do in the morning before we open up, I love all the customers,” said Pullinzi.

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