Lithium Battery Storage Fire at Chaumont Solar Farm Escalates to Multiple Units, Burns Toxic Smoke into Air

Multiple lithium-battery storage trailers caught fire yesterday in the town of Lyme in Jefferson County, causing a large amount of potentially hazardous smoke to be emitted. The shelter-in-place order has since been lifted, but the fire has escalated today to additional battery storage units.

“In light of the news of the solar lithium battery fire, I have been in touch with local and county officials including Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Johnson regarding the situation. I want to express my deep relief that no one was harmed. We are grateful for our brave firefighters and the coordinated response, including assistance from outside the area,” Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) said.

“I spoke with Gov. Hochul and thanked her for her swift action in mobilizing state resources. She shared her concern for public safety and I encouraged a complete review of lithium storage facilities near renewable energy projects and expressed the need to review these facilities for public safety—the governor was amicable.”

“I would like to commend our Emergency Management Office and staff, the firefighters and all the first responders throughout the county who are responding to the first lithium battery storage fire in the county,” said Johnson. “I also want to praise the response and assistance received from a variety of state agencies. I had the opportunity to speak with Gov. Hochul and Assemblyman Gray regarding the response, and both assured a thorough review of these storage facilities as they continue to proliferate our countryside in Jefferson County,” Johnson concluded.

“I have said multiple times, there are instances where New York state does not need to be first. Sometimes it’s good to be in the middle of the pack. A transformation toward renewable energy and electrification cannot be done with haste and must progress on a reasonable, safe and affordable timeline that ensures public safety,” Gray said.

“I encourage all in the surrounding area to heed the advice of local officials. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions. We will continue to monitor and update on the situation,” concluded Gray.