Weathering Tomorrow Series: How one New York City borough is fighting against the invasive plant feeding brush fires

  • Source: WABC-TV ABC 7 New York
  • Published: 11/17/2023 12:00 AM

VIDEO: The beauty of the natural habitat holds a danger. Phragmites, a tall wetland grass, happen to be a brush fire's best friend due to the fact that they burn quickly. On the south shore of Staten Island, this invasive plant is everywhere. "We only need to have another dry season or another dry year where we could have something like what happened in 2015 happen again," said New York City Councilman David Cook. That year, a five-alarm wildfire needed more than 170 firefighters to contain it. Staten Island now has a program in place allowing homeowners to cut back phragmites on their property and reduce wildfire danger. "As the climate change issues continue to evolve, we have to evolve with them," said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. The fall and spring are considered the major seasons for wildfires in our region.


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