The recent warm temperatures and lack of rain has caused brush fires to ignite in and around Utica.

Recently downtown Utica office dwellers saw dark plumes of smoke just north Oriskany Boulevard as a brush fire ignited near Harbor Point.

A brush fire was also reported in the Herkimer county town of Norway near Newport.

From the National Fire Protection Association, here are some basic brush fire safety tips:

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Keep lawns hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Remove flammable materials within 3-5 feet of the home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch the house, deck or porch.