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First responders call Fire Island beach erosion a "ticking time bomb"

Seaview, Fire Island
Luke Kaufman
Seaview, Fire Island

First responders on Fire Island say beach erosion is making their job more difficult, and are calling on lawmakers to make immediate repairs. 

Storms from late September caused the most severe erosion on the barrier island between the communities of Seaview and Fire Island Pines.

Since Fire Island doesn’t have roads, first responders rely on beaches to travel between the 17 communities, which offer each other mutual aid.

According to a letter to lawmakers from the Fire Island Fire Chiefs Council, the current conditions are a “ticking time bomb” approaching the winter months.

They are asking for the Army Corps to speed up dune bolstering efforts, part of the $2 billion Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point Project. The Army Corps denied another request for sand replenishment after the storms in September.

The fire chiefs say they see larger fires during the off-season, when residents tend to make home improvement projects.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.