A plume of dark grey smoke could be seen for miles coming from Niskayuna Saturday evening as town firefighters responded to a tire fire that spread to a wooded area.
Fire Chief Dale Lingenfelter said a call about the smoke came in around 4 p.m. The caller did not provide a location where the smoke was coming from. He said crews were able to quickly locate the fire in a wooded area behind the Jewish Community Center at 2565 Balltown Road.
Lingenfelter said they discovered a large pile of truck tires burning that had spread 800 to 1000 feet into the wooded area.
“The conditions of the grass and ground definitely make it difficult,” Lingenfelter said.
He said there was also a slight wind adding to the difficulty.
No firefighters were injured as of 5 p.m. Crews remained on scene for about another hour putting out hot spots so another fire didn’t flare up.
While Lingenfelter didn’t provide a cause for the fire, he did say it is suspicious.
“We’ll get law enforcement involved to see if they can locate anyone,” Lingenfelter said.
There is a burn ban in effect in the state from March 16 through May 14 this year as the season remains dry and debris left over from the fall can easily catch fire.
“Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State,” stated the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website. “When temperatures are warmer and the past fall’s debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.”