Sparks from Train Blamed for Upstate NY Brush Fires


Sparks from a short-line railroad train are being blamed for three brush fires in drought-stricken Cayuga County in central New York.

Aurelius Fire Chief Jason Wells tells the Syracuse Post-Standard that sparks from a Finger Lakes Railroad train are believed to have ignited dry grass along the tracks on Tuesday. One fire spread to 40 acres.

Wells says the burned area, about 30 miles west of Syracuse, is mostly farmland with no nearby fire hydrants. Volunteer fire departments had to use ATVs with water cans to access some areas.

Wells says there was a similar situation in May with more than a dozen fires along the tracks.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows a severe drought from Cayuga County westward in New York. Heavy rain doused the region on Wednesday.

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