By Joseph Zapata
More than 250 volunteers from the Dix Hills Fire Department responded to a large brush fire in the Edgewood Preserve property, which spread from Dix Hills to Deer Park on Saturday, April 25, fire officials said.
The fire traveled roughly 19 acres and damage involved underbrush and most of the trees in that area, officials said.
Brush fires can be caused by a wide variety of situations, such as a lightening bolt, campfire or cigarette, according to Dix Hills Fire Chief Robert Fling.
The chief added that low humidity and strong winds aided in the spread of the fire.
“The wind will actually spread the fire at whatever speed the wind is going,” Fling said. “Once the wind starts blowing 24 miles per hour, that’s how fast the fire is spreading.”
Because of the speed of the wind and fire, both Fling and Deer Park Fire Chief Larry Bradbury worked together to command the response. Emergency Vehicles, EMS Rehab, and the Command Post were set at the Deer Park Fire Department training facility.
The Suffolk Country Fire-Rescue Coordinators lent a helping a hand by assisting with mutual aid, truck staging and crew assignments. A Suffolk County Police Department helicopter was also on the scene, relaying information about the fire’s condition to both fire chiefs.
Firefighters were alerted about the fire around 1:30 p.m. and battled the flames until everything was under control at about 5:15 p.m., fire officials said. According to Fling, a four-hour battle is nothing out of the ordinary.
“That’s short,” Fling said. “I’ve been in brush fires that last two full days.”
No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged, fire officials said.
Fling also said that fires at the Edgewood Preserve are rare, but they do occur from time to time.