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Brush Fire Burns Over an Acre at State Forest in East Berne

By THOMAS MARRA , Correspondent | May 13, 2021 | NEW YORK

Story No. 052221105

EAST BERNE, NY - Numerous fire departments fought a large brush fire in the Town of Berne on Thursday, May 13th. The call came in around 3:30 P.M. at the Cole Hill State Forest on Cole Hill Road in East Berne.

District Chief Jason Smith of Berne Fire was the first to arrive on the scene. “When I first arrived I had roughly a third to a half of an acre burning,” Smith said. “The wind kept changing directions.”

The fire appears to have started on the center portion of the hill and worked its way up, the chief said. The fire worked its way up the hill, jumped a wall and began spreading from all sides.

Firefighters were shuttled to the scene on UTVs to an area of the hill approximately one-third of a mile from the main road. They then had to walk another 600-yards up the hill to get the fire.

Chief Smith said there was a brush fire in this same area last year lower on the hill at the shooting range where people were shooting paint cans. Over one acre appears to have burned as a result of the fire. The cause of the fire appears to again have been from target shooting, the chief said.

Responding departments on the scene and on standby included Berne/East Berne, Knox, Westerlo, Onesquethaw, Coeymans Hollow, Gallupville, North Bethlehem, Huntersland, Rennselaerville, Voorheesville, Guilderland Center, New Salem and Ravena Fire Departments, with the assistance from State Forest Rangers, ENCON and crews from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

Helderberg Ambulance and Albany County Paramedics also assisted on the scene.

Chief Smith said there were no injuries reported on the scene.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.