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DEC investigating local fires that have burned 167 acres in past month

The New York State DEC announced Thursday it is using new technology to investigate potential sources of a series of recent fires that have burned about 167 acres in Long Island’s Pine Barrens region.

The DEC said five forest fires have occurred on federal, state, county and private land in the area in the past month and state and local officials are are asking anyone with knowledge of these fires to contact DEC’s Office of Public Protection at 518-408-5858 or the Suffolk County, Brookhaven, or Riverhead fire marshal’s offices.

Suffolk County, Brookhaven and Riverhead fire marshals are working with Brookhaven National Lab firefighters to investigate the incidents. The DEC did not elaborate on the specific technologies these groups will deploy.

Besides damaging habitat, uncontrolled fires have the potential to impact nearby residences and pose a risk to volunteer firefighters, the DEC noted in a press release about the incidents.