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New York ‘battery fire’ sends cloud of smoke into the air, Hochul warns smoke ‘may pose health risks’

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A blaze that burned batteries at a northern New York solar farm prompted Gov. Kathy Hochul Thursday night to advise residents to avoid the smoke coming from the rural site near Lake Ontario.

WWNY-TV said the blaze began around 1 p.m. at a solar farm in Jefferson County, outside the village of Chaumont. It’s about 78 miles north of Syracuse and near the Canadian border.

Photos and video aired by the station show smoke shooting from a solar panel array and coursing over trees.

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Hochul, in a statement, described the blaze as “a large battery fire” and said she was sending state fire and environmental officials to the site.

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul gives a speech on Jan. 31, 2023, in New York City. Hochul is warning residents that a solar farm fire in northern New York may pose a health risk. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The Democrat said the fire had caused significant damage and was emitting “large amounts of smoke that may pose health risks.” She urged residents to heed public health officials and avoid exposure to the smoke or or any other toxins.

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Emergency crews remained on the scene around 9 p.m. A message seeking more information was sent to the Jefferson County fire director.



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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