Campers stay safe in dry heat
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GRAND ISLAND, NY- The dry hot weather hasn’t stopped campers from heading out to the Niagara Falls KOA site in Grand Island where officials have seen a ten percent increase since last summer. However, that doesn’t mean the dryness doesn’t concern them.
"You're a little bit nervous. I mean the campers are close together. There are people in tents and so you know it's a little nerve wracking, I’m a little nervous with it so dry because we are pretty busy right now," said Niagara Falls KOA General Manager Ginny Rader.
YNN meteorologists say the whole year has been dry, with Western New York currently about five inches below its normal precipitation level.
Friday, Governor Cuomo issued a residential brush burn statewide through October 10th.
Violators could face both civil and criminal penalties.
But that ban it does not apply to camp areas.
During a dry spell like this, camp managers still say being vigilant in monitoring fires.
"We do go through a little bit more often and keep an eye on the campfires and you know when we see something that is out of the control we make sure that we tell them that you know it's got to be under three feet and they only do them in the fire ring," said Rader.
As another precaution, KOA recommends people purchase firewood from their store so they know it will be the proper size. One camper is sticking to that rule along with other guidelines.
"Trying to keep the fires to a minimum. Not getting them too high so the sparks start flying all around. Just being aware of what type of wood you are putting in there so they don’t spark too much," said Cheektowaga Resident Greg Gaczewski.
First time camp fire starters like Jon Lilley are also erring on the side of caution.
"We’re just trying to keep the fire in the camp fire pit just not letting it go anywhere and keeping our dog away from the fire and making sure we stay on this gravel area that they've got right here," said Ohio Resident Jon Lilley.
Even the young are learning how to play it safe in the dry heat.
"You put the fires in the pits. Before you sleep, you take water and dump it on the pit," said Pennsylvania Resident Lokman Sharawy.
Camping has been a relief for people like Gaczewski who has avoided starting night time fires at his home outdoor fire pit.
"It’s been tough, there have been a lot of people that have had the bonfires out and you know people are still burning their branches and stuff so we just try and stay safe," said Gaczewski.