A major Staten Island brush fire was brought under control Tuesday, as firefighters contained the flames at the old Fresh Kills landfill. The fire broke out Monday around noon. Officials believe the fire was caused by a spontaneously compustible mulch pile, and was further aggravated by the 20 mph winds that fanned the flames. More than 200 firefighters were called to contain the five-alarm blaze, until it was finally put out at 4 a.m. Tuesday. Three firefighters suffered from minor injuries.
The West Shore Highway was shut down Monday, when smoke seeped over the roads blocking visibility. Although thick smoke reached several neighborhoods, it did not threaten anyone's safety and no one was forced to evacuate.The fire quickly burnt through piles of debris remnants of Hurricane Irene. Because there was little rain and snow this year, the dry debris easily caught fire.
No snow keeping it moist through the winter, and no rain, said FDNY Deputy Chief Roger Sakowich, according to WABC. I don't think you had this dryness like this, and the hurricane, with the amount of compost you had.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg toured the site today. There's no health issues here, you have fires all the time, smoke goes off into the air, said Bloomberg. The fire department was here quickly, they got it under control, they never thought there would be great danger. The only danger was really to the firefighters.