New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Photograph A New York State Forest Ranger monitors a small ground fire at Ossian State Forest on Oct. 7.

An improperly extinguished campfire is being cited as the cause of a recent ground fire in Ossian State Forest.

The fire burned a tenth of an acre and took five days to suppress, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC Operations staff contacted Acting Lt. Staples on Oct. 7 because they could smell and see smoke at Ossian State Forest, but could not locate the fire, according to a weekly release from DEC on statewide forest ranger activity.

Operations staff later called Staples back and said that they had found the small ground fire.

Forest Rangers Patrick Dormer and Daniel Cordell responded with a six-wheel ATV equipped with a pump and worked on suppressing the fire along with Fire Warden Bill Clark’s assistance over a period of five days.

Dormer later determined the cause of the fire to be an improperly extinguished campfire, according to DEC.

To extinguish a campfire, DEC recommends drowning the fire with water and making sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks as there may be burning embers underneath.

Also, stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you do not have water use dirt. Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and break out, DEC said.

For more information about fire safety when camping, go to DEC’s website at

Ossian State Forest covers more than 1,300 acres in the town of Ossian in southwestern Livingston County. The forest shares a long common boundary with Rattlesnake Hill State Wildlife Management Area and also has a common boundary with a parcel of Allegany County forest lands.

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