State forest rangers headed back to the Shawangunk Ridge this morning to assess how contained the fire that’s burned close to five hard-to-reach acres in the Mohonk Preserve is after firefighters withdrew overnight due to dangerous weather conditions. It’s hoped that the overnight rain has helped in the efforts, and that when volunteers from six local fire departments returned around 10 a.m. that they would be able to focus on “working on remaining active fire spots,” according to New Paltz Village Fire Chief Cory Wirthmann. Forest rangers, sheriff’s deputies and other county emergency service workers, and members of the rescue squad are also assisting today.
The chief believes that the investigation into the origin of this fire can now begin in earnest, but advises residents that the Spring Farm trailhead and Cragswood Road remain closed until further notice. Smoke may continue to be seen and smelled in the area throughout the day, and heavy fire-truck traffic will continue.