Firefighters battle flare-ups at persistent Plessis fire

Fighting the flare-ups at persistent Plessis fire

PLESSIS, N.Y. (WWNY) -The Plessis Volunteer Fire Department was packing up after tackling an outdoor blaze Thursday.

According to Fire Chief Mike Hunter, his team and other crews have been called to the town of Alexandria fire more than once.

“This is the third time we’ve been called out to it since Sunday,” he said.

Hunter says recent high temperatures are creating conditions for the fire to spark back up.

“Think we have it extinguished and, with this hot, dry weather we’ve had, these winds haven’t helped us out,” he said. “Certainly, everything is very, very susceptible to rekindling and that’s what’s happening here. If we miss just one little ember it can start up again.”

While a cause hasn’t been determined, Hunter says he has an idea of what it could be.

“We would just assume it was an outdoor burn probably that started this,” he said.

St. Lawrence County has a burn ban in effect until at least July 12. “We don’t have the burn ban in place here in Jefferson County yet,” Hunter said.

Hunter says fire crews have been able to contain the blaze to the end of a rock ledge, but if the fire were to rekindle and jump into the rocks below, it would be much harder to extinguish.

“If it gets over that ledge, again, access is going to be really difficult,” he said.

With the fire starting up three times in less than a week, the question is, will crews be called in for a fourth fight?

“My goal is to not be here again,” Hunter said. “Will we be out here again? There’s a possibility we will. We’re out there, we’re still trying to mop up some of the hotspots before we pull out.”

Hunter says no one has been injured fighting the fire and there’s no threat to nearby buildings.

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