Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Information Bulletin

Nature's Chemical Weapons

Since another wildland fire season is upon us, OFPC wishes to once again bring awareness on the topic of plants common to New York State that present hazards to firefighters. Nature’s Chemical Weapons may be encountered whenever an incident requires firefighters, EMS responders and law enforcement personnel to venture into areas that are over grown or allowed to grow natural, often referred to as “forever wild”. Whether called to a motor vehicle accident with the vehicle down an embankment or to a hiker lost in the woods, contact with any of these plants could lead to very serious medical issues.

Giant Hogweed

Poison Ivy

Poison Sumac

Stinging Nettles

Cow Parsnip