Fire Chief Robert Bourgeois is alerting all residents to a recent extension and expansion of the current New York State burn ban which will now run through May 21st. Exceptions will be made for those that are cooking on a grill provided that the flame is no higher than 6” from the burner source and the cooking grill is equipped with an attached fire proof cover. All other fires are banned during this time.      Chief Bourgeois previously stated, “We are at a very critical time over the next few weeks where the Spring conditions in place now with a dry atmosphere including low humidity and wind put us at the highest risk of fire. We need to do whatever we can to alleviate that risk, which is why I am making this very difficult decision to ban all outdoor fires.” Since that time, we have had several recent days of Red Flag Alerts where there was an extreme danger of fire hazard.       Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan added, “Green Island is a community where many of the homes are located in close proximity to each other and the risk of fire from backyard burning during these dry times is too great to allow it to happen. I commend Chief Bourgeois for recognizing this and making the decision to reinforce the extension of the ban.”       Bourgeois has also stated that even after May 21st he will extend this ban on burning during any period in the future in which the National Weather Service has issued a “Red Flag” fire advisory for Eastern Albany County.       As always, in case of emergency dial 9-1-1 immediately. Other suggestions from Chief Bourgeois:      1.     Those cooking should never leave the grill unattended.      2.     Make sure the grill is a safe distance away from your home, deck railings or other structures that can ignite.      3.     If the grill flame flares up, try to safely close the cover to smother the flame.      4.     Have a source such as a fire extinguisher or baking soda ready to extinguish the grill in case it flares up and out of control (do not use water on a cooking fire).      5.     Keep the garden hose ready and nearby in case a structure is accidently ignited while cooking (and call 9-1-1).