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Mangano Reminds Residents Of Brushfire Safety Precautions

With the NY State Watch Center issuing a Fire Weather Watch and the National Weather Service signaling Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano is urging all residents to be vigilant when using an open flame outdoors.

The abnormally dry conditions during the winter and so far this spring, have produced minor to moderate drought conditions across Long Island. Weather patterns that are dry with wind and low humidity can heighten the risk of wide-spread brush fires or hamper efforts to contain fires that might otherwise cause minimal damage.

County Executive Mangano says while residents are anxious to head outdoors once the warm weather arrives, he encourages them to take precautions when doing some basic spring cleaning. “Diligence is required at times of high alert. One simple mistake can have disastrous results.”

Barbecue grills should be properly maintained and utilized in a location clear of dry grass, bushes and trees. If using charcoal, ensure that all flames are out and the coals are cool prior to disposal. When available dispose of charcoal in designated aluminum or metal coal cans. Fire pits should have a screen protector and be properly and completely extinguished prior to leaving.

Homeowners should remove leaves and debris from the gutters on their homes and clear dead weeds and vegetation in a periphery of 100 feet. In addition, all branches six feet from the ground should be trimmed. All mowing and weed-whacking should be undertaken before 10 am and after 6 pm. and lawn mowers should not be used around dry vegetation. Spark arresters are required in wild land areas with the use of all portable gasoline powered equipment.

While there have been numerous laws to limit smoking in public places because of health concerns smoking outdoors has become more prevalent and therefore can be a major contributor to brush fires. The careless disposal of cigarette butts can ignite dry brush and debris. If you choose to smoke, please protect others by ensuring your cigarette is out and properly dispose of the remains.

County Executive Mangano urges firefighters and public safety officials to maintain caution when attempting to contain fires that can spread quickly and burn intensely. “Our volunteer firefighters protect our homes and communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are our family, friends and neighbors. We must do everything we can to provide they support they need to ensure our safety.”