This afternoon we received an update regarding the Cragswood woods fire on the Mohonk Preserve ridge line from the New Paltz Fire Department. The Public Information Officer for this incident, Fire Chief Wirthmann sent a press release early this evening (5:26 PM August 27, 2020) detailing the progress they have made containing the fire and what the plan will be moving forward.

The severe weather that moved through the Hudson Valley this afternoon and this evening has resulted in the crews having to cease actively working at the scene due to safety issues. However, at the time the information was released they were able to report that the fire was approximately 70 % contained and an evaluation of the fire area appears to show that a total of 4.6 acres was involved with the fire so far.

The press release also states that crews worked throughout the day in heavy brush to contain the fire. They cut fire lines and ran hose lines up the vertical ridge. Chief Wirthmann also stated that this was all done "without fail in a well organized and concerted effort. New Paltz FD, Highland FD, Gardiner FD, Rifton FD, Esopus FD, Accord FD as well as NYS Forest Rangers and Mohonk Preserve Rangers all worked seamlessly together in the field. The incident command post was supported by personnel from New Paltz FD, NYS Forest Rangers, Mohonk Preserve Rangers and the Ulster County Office of Emergency Services and Emergency Management."

As of this update all fire fighting activities at the sight have ended for the night. They will start up again tomorrow with more work on the fire lines. People living in the area may still see and smell smoke throughout the night. The trail head at Spring Farm remains closed. Anyone in need of information should reach out to Chief Wirthmann at

Photo Credit - New Paltz Fire Department via Facebook
Photo Credit - New Paltz Fire Department via Facebook


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