Firefighters Battle a Series of Brushfires in Northeast

April 11, 2012

Dry conditions and high winds have triggered a number of brushfires in Northeastern states in past few days. Here is a roundup of stories from the Associated Press.

New York

New York State park rangers are battling a brush fire in Harriman State Park.

According to the Journal News, the fire on West Mountain erupted on Monday and burned more than five acres by the afternoon. High winds and dry conditions fueled the fires.

The National Weather Service said winds in the Lower Hudson Valley were gusting up to 35 mph Monday and exceeding 40 mph in some places.

No homes were damaged or threatened by the fire. There were no reports of injuries as of late Monday.

A parks spokesman said rangers were out all night Tuesday fighting the blaze. He had no additional information.

Also, New York firefighters have nearly contained a brush fire on eastern Long Island, but officials warn that high winds could make the blaze unpredictable.

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said Tuesday the fire burned heavily overnight but did not spread. He said winds were expected to pick up in the early afternoon and the forecast called for little rain. Bellone said that could change the situation very rapidly.

He said firefighters were coordinating with the state’s emergency management team, and he expected water would be dropped from the air on Tuesday.

The brush fire erupted Monday and destroyed two homes and a commercial building. It has been contained on three sides.

One firefighter was hospitalized with minor burns and two were treated for smoke inhalation.

New Jersey

Firefighters have contained about 75 percent of a wildfire that has consumed about 1,000 acres in southern New Jersey.

Assistant Division Forest Fire Warden John Rieth says approximately 40 firefighters are on the scene Tuesday. Rieth says there’s no word yet on the cause.

The blaze broke out early Monday in Tabernacle and Woodland, and by midmorning it had extended across 600 acres. Roughly half of the fire had been contained by early Monday night, but state officials expect it will consume about 1,000 acres before it’s finished.

Fire crews expect the wildfire will be completely under control by week’s end at the latest.

Pennsylvania

Emergency officials in Berks County say no injuries have been reported in the fire at French Creek State Park, which burned into Tuesday morning.

Dozens of state and local agencies have been working to contain the blaze.

Residents of five roads near the park have been evacuated. An emergency shelter was set up at a nearby social hall.

Emergency crews also spent part of Monday trying to protect a fireworks factory not far from the fire, determining what explosives were inside and preparing a plan of action. Officials said late Monday the factory was no longer in danger.

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