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Fire planned in Finger Lakes forest to restore habitat

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An overturned boat is strewn among a plethora of downed trees and debris on Lower Lake Road at Lodi Point in Lodi, N.Y., Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, after flash flooding damaged homes, vehicles and infrastructure from the Finger Lakes region to the Binghamton area on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

HECTOR, N.Y. (AP) — Officials plan to burn 30 acres of the Finger Lakes National Forest to clear overgrown brush and grass and restore declining wildlife habitat.

U.S. Forest Service personnel will use prescribed fire in parts of the 16,000-acre national forest that have been identified as critical wildlife habitat. The controlled burns are planned within the next two weeks, depending on weather conditions.

Burn sites have already been prepared with control lines to keep fires within the designated areas. The Forest Service says smoke may be visible to nearby residents and may briefly impact adjacent roads.

Signs will be posted if it’s necessary to temporarily close any forest roads or trails.

The Finger Lakes National Forest is on a ridge between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. It’s the only national forest in New York.

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