USA — Several brush fires erupted in the Meadowlands today, including a three-alarm fire that began alongside Route 7 in Kearny and spread north into North Arlington and Lyndhurst.
The wind-fueled Kearny fire, which was reported at 2:19 p.m., never threatened any buildings or people, and was finally declared under control at 7:48 p.m., Kearny Fire Chief Steven Dyl said tonight.
“The challenge was the lack of access (to the site),” Dyl said. “The winds helped fan it. It was difficult to get ahead of. And the terrain was difficult, lots of brush and lots of fuel to burn. And no water.”
Since there are no fire hydrants on the landfill, fire trucks had to bring water to the site and then leave and get some more, the fire chief explained.
With temperatures in the 80s, two Kearny firefighters suffered heat exhaustion, Dyl said. One firefighter was treated at the scene while the other was transported to Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville.
Jersey City firefighters were initially asked to provide mutual aid coverage in Kearny, but then were summoned to the site to help fight the fire.
Some 50 firefighters ultimately battled the blaze, including firefighters from Lyndhurst and North Arlington.
North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue provided coverage of the town.
The fire is under investigation by the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety.
Route 7, also known as the Belleville Turnpike, was never closed, but traffic backups formed and then eased as fire trucks wended their way in and out of side roads.
In the meantime, firefighters from Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Secaucus, Little Ferry and surrounding towns were moving from spot-to-spot trying to squelch brush fires that were popping up in the Meadowlands all afternoon, NJ.com reported.
Flames at one point moved within a stones throw of the Vince Lombardi Service Area on the Turnpike in Ridgefield, according to NJ.com.
The blaze near the service area was largely contained by 5:30 p.m. but heavy smoke and flames continue to cause delays on the Turnpike, mostly due to passing motorists watching the blaze, NJ.com reported.
Asked about the spate of brush fires, Dyl urged the public not to toss cigarette butts carelessly and to notify the Fire Department as soon as possible.
“Its dry, you got the warm temperatures, its all ripe out there for fires,” he said.