Air quality deteriorates, fire danger high in Allegany and most of New York State

UPDATE – 3:25PM Thursday: The NYSDEC has renewed its AIR QUALITY ALERT for Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties west from 11AM to 11PM tomorrow, Friday, June 2.
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BREAKING: The State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has issued an AIR QUALITY ALERT for Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties this morning, with moderate concern elsewhere, and a separate HIGH RISK of fire danger throughout the state.

The Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air quality rating to the west and northwest of Allegany County, is a level above the Moderate risk category for the remainder of Upstate New York.

Information on air quality standards is available at, with daily map ratings at

The High Danger fire rating is designated when “fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attached successfully while small,” according to the NYSDEC.

It notes that “all fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. High-intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuels.”

Fire departments in Allegany and surrounding counties already have been hit with grass and brush fires, due to winds and dry conditions during the spring, even after a burn ban expired in the middle of last month.

The state fire danger map and explanations of categories are available at

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