County fire officials remind residents to follow open burning regulations   View the Photo Gallery

CHENANGO COUNTY – County fire officials are urging residents – particularly those who live in rural areas – to adhere to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s open burning regulations, which prohibits open fires between March 15 and May 15. A number of grass and brush fires have been reported over the past two weeks across the county, including fires in the towns of Norwich, Plymouth, Smithville, North Norwich, Preston, Oxford and – on Monday – South Otselic and Smyrna.

Due to the mild winter and lack of snowfall, there is a significant amount of dead, dry, longstanding grass still present in many areas, reported Chenango Bureau of Fire Deputy Fire Coordinator Michael Beckwith. The conditions, he added, are perfect for fires to start with just a small spark. The Plymouth, Sherburne and Smyrna fire departments responded to yesterday’s Smyrna fire, located on Boos Law Road, which quickly spread across acres of field and disturbingly close to several homes and structures.

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