Crews in N.Y. continue to monitor smoldering forest fire

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ALTONA, N.Y. The sky in upstate New York was illuminated by a fiery smoke Friday Night.

“Every year we get into the dry part of the season, you always worry if there will be a fire on the rock,” said Altona resident Dean Lashway watched Friday as the forest fire crept dangerously close to his property. He says he was worried about his maple syrup operation which was based in the woods

“By the time of the fire got to that point, it would be more of an understory. It would probably do some damage to the sap lines and the main lines,” said Lashway.

Less than a mile from where roads were shut down, crews set up the command post at the Altona Fire station. New York State Forest Ranger David Russell says the fire has grown to 526 acres.

As of 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Clinton County Emergency Services says the fire is now 40% contained.

“Contained meaning there is a good control line that is right down to the bare rock and or soil that the fire has burned up to, and we are not worried about any fire on that portion,” said Russell

The state parks around Altona are shut down for the weekend as multiple investigators are on the scene. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Russell says just under 200 people from New York, Vermont, and Quebec helped control the forest fire that hit private and public property, there are no evacuations or injuries.

“It’s still actively burning, however it doesn't have the extreme fire behavior that it had over the last two days,” said Russell.

The hard work, appreciated by residents like Lashway, who is safe nearby.

“There was a wall of smoke and it was dark in color and about 15- 20 minutes later it disappeared. The fire crews made the break and the Rangers did their job,” said Lashway.

Crews are expected to head back out to fight the fire again on Sunday and it's unsure how many more days they will have to continue fighting this fire till it’s completely contained