From the Firehouse: March 2022

From the Firehouse by Jack Halchak, Past Chief HFD
March 2022

The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking for help, to fight fire or support those that do. We even supply all of the gear and provide all of the training needed, for free. Stop by any Monday night and find out how you can help.
The numbers are in for fire calls for 2021. In 2021, Sullivan County responded to 6,407 calls as compared to 5,445 in 2020, structure fires in 2021 were 375 as compared to 300 in 2020, activated alarms in 2021 were 1,487 compared to 1,298 in 2020, and brush fires in 2021, there were 83 as compared to 112 in 2020. In 2021, there were 25 calls for drownings and 31 rescue calls; in 2020, there were 17 drowning calls and 38 rescue calls.
One would guess that because of the pandemic there are more people staying in the county at their summer homes, so the more people, the more calls there will be. (That’s my guess as to why the call volume is way up.) For the structure fires, there was no one main cause for the increase. It was across the board for the causes: arson, accidental, unknown, chimney, electrical, extension from a brush fire. etc.
This is the March column, so I need to rant and rave about the “Burn Ban.” The Burn Ban dates are March 16 thru May 14. NO OPEN BURNING. Looking outside as I type this column, there is almost no snow on the ground, with temperatures in the 50-degree range. Toward the end of the week, we may get some snow. This is what happens every spring: we go from snow to mud and dry conditions. How quick this happens is anyone’s guess. But rest assured, the brush fire season will be here soon.
Spring rains can and will help melt the snow. So, when you get on your lawn to take care of spring cleanup DO NOT BURN your debris piles. All it takes is a gust of wind in dry conditions when the terrain has not yet greened up, and we have a brush fire. So please: no burning of anything after you clean up your lawn!
The lower part of our county has far less snow than we do, and they already had three brush fires. With these snowless conditions. it could be a long brush fire season.
Unfortunately, today many people do not get a newspaper, or are not on social media, and so do not know about the burn ban. Many of the brush fires that I have been at the last few years the homeowner did not know about the burn ban. If you see your neighbor burning, please tell him about the Burn Ban.
The 34th Annual Hurleyville Fire Department-Town of Fallsburg Youth Commission Ice Fishing Contest is now in the books. There were 105 adults and 35 youths who enjoyed a day on the ice.

As dawn broke, the ice fishing anglers began to show up on the ice and in the parking lot.
Temperatures were in the mid-30s to start, and rose to the low forties. As the temperature rose, so did the wind. The ice was wet and called for creepers for traction. We even had two 10-second drizzles. Sun and clouds completed the day.

Some nice crappies were brought to the scale, and somewhat unusual, but not unheard of, there were a number of big bullheads caught.

For the firemen’s contest, it was the total weight of five fish. For all other categories, it was the length of the fish plus the weight for the total points.

Winners in the Fire Department Contest were as follows:
1st place Tappan Fire Department with 5.47 lbs.
2nd place Loch Sheldrake Fire Department with 1.47 lbs.
3rd place Woodridge Fire Department with 1.37 lbs.

In the youth division there were no bullheads brought to the scale.
1st place Kayla Carney 12.63 points
2nd place Travis Carney 12.62 points
3rd place Sebastian Towne 11.98 points
1st place Alana Salonich 12.13. points
2nd place Xzavier Yeneic 11.04 points
3rd place Kaylee Curry 10.18 points
1st place Madiso Lamantia 2.78 lbs. 21.75 inches 24.53 points
2nd place Alana Salonich 2.44 lbs. 21.25 inches 23.69 points
3rd place Ryleigh Lamantia 1.94 lbs. 20.00 inches 21.94 points

Adult division
1st place Tom Post 16.12 points
2nd place Samantha Alvarado 15.90 points
3rd place Nolan Akerley 15.87 points
1st place Braiden DeGraw 14.79 points
2nd place Josh DeGraw 14.70 points
3rd place Eric Ivan 13.47 points
1st place Murf 12.45 points
2nd place Cheyenne Torres 12.42 points
3rd place Kevin Janiak 11.72 points
1st place Michael Conklin 2.40 lbs. 20.50 inches 22.90 points
2nd place Lester Milk 1.98 lbs. 19.75 inches 21.73 points
3rd place Ann Curry 1.94 lbs. 19.25 inches 21.19 points
There were many raffles to be won at the end of weigh-in. Thanks to Sports Nuts in Rock Hill and the Liberty Trading Post for their donations to the raffle.

See you June 18 for the Morningside Fishing Classic

Be Safe Out There!