Members of the Mahwah Fire Department were among hundreds of firefighters who helped fight an 85-acre brush fire in Hillburn, NY that sent smoke and a burning smell to the township Tuesday.
According to Mahwah’s Second Assistant Fire Chief Ray Virgens, trucks from Mahwah’s Companies 2 and 5 responded to the scene of the fire Wednesday morning, along with fire departments from throughout Rockland County.
“It had started burning the night before,” Virgens said of the blaze.
“It was in a very rocky area that was difficult to get to.”
According to a lohud.com report, the fire spread across 85 acres off of Torne Valley Road in Hillburn, and spread into Palisades Interstate Park land.
About 130 firefighters from surrounding towns helped fight the fire from the ground, while three helicopters from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Westchester County dumped hundreds of gallons of lake water on the fire, the report said.
“The cliff area was hard to reach, so a lot of our work [on the ground] was hand work,” Virgens said.
“And they called in the helicopters to help us reach [the further, less accessible] areas.”
According to the report, most of the fire was knocked out by Tuesday night, and its remnants were monitored overnight by park rangers. Officials anticipate it will be fully out Wednesday morning, the report said.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation, the report said. Local fire officials are working with Orange & Rockland, which was installing high-tension wires nearby when the fire broke out, to assess the blaze, the report said.