- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

MAMAKATING, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities have charged two Long Island men with starting a fire that burned more than 2,500 acres of forest along an upstate New York mountain ridge last spring.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports (http://bit.ly/1P7uTKS ) 62-year-old Michael Schiliro of East Meadow and 52-year-old Walter R. Drobecker III of Bethpage were charged with reckless endangerment of property and illegally burning garbage. They both pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

State forest rangers say the two men burned wood and yard waste in an outdoor fire pit at Schiliro’s property in the Sullivan County town Mamakating (MAM’-uh-kay-ting) on May 3, when a state’s ban on open burning was in effect.

The fire spread across the Shawangunk Ridge into neighboring Ulster County, eventually scorching about 2,700 acres before it was brought under control on May 8.

No homes were damaged.

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Information from: The Times Herald-Record, http://www.th-record.com

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