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Staten Island brush fire may burn for days, officials warn

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Firefighters may be battling a five-alarm brush fire on the West Shore for the next two days, FDNY officials cautioned this evening.

 

Dozens of the city's Bravest are still working to extinguish the blaze at the former Fresh Kills landfill, which began this morning in a large area of wood compost. Southbound traffic on the West Shore Expressway is stopped between the Muldoon Avenue exit and the Staten Island Expressway, and heavy delays persist along the entire New Jersey-bound lanes of the Staten Island Expressway.

FDNY Commanding Officer Michael Marrone and Roger Sakowich, deputy chief of division, addressed members of the media this evening.

They said the fire began in a large area used by the city Sanitation Department to store wood compost. The area is not capped, and not technically part of the landfill.

While the cause remains under investigation, officials suspect the compost spontaneously combusted deep within a compost pile, and powerful wind gusts fanned the flames.

"It’s similar to a brush fire in that it’s usually an inaccessible area, uneven terrain," said Marrone. "One-quarter mile by one-half mile area of burning material."

 

275353225001_1553983417001_vs-1553979823001.jpg?pubId=275353225001A brush fire breaks out at Staten Island's Fresh Kills park

As Islanders gathered at the entrance to Fresh Kills park to protest the city's plan to demo a Waste-to-Energy facility, a brush fire broke out at the former landfill, prompting a quick FDNY response. Councilman James Oddo, who is leading the fight against the city's proposal, says the protest will be rescheduled for the next tour.

 

Watch video

The blaze was initially reported at 310 West Service Rd.

 

No injuries have been reported as of this evening, though, through the Notify NYC alert system, city officials are urging West Shore residents to limit their time outdoors and keep their windows closed until the smoke dissipates.

Those experiencing shortness of breath or chest pain, or who have a medical condition that is worsening, are directed to seek medical attention immediately.

At 2:30 p.m. the blaze went to a fifth alarm, meaning 44 units and more than 200 firefighters were on the scene.

"We were lucky it did not jump the highway," Marrone said.

Motorists are advised to avoid the West Shore Expressway.

Near the scene of the fire, police are restricting access to service roads near the Victory Boulevard exit of the West Shore Expressway.

Meanwhile commuters who rely on the West Shore should consider alternate routes. The X 22 bus, which runs between Manhattan and Tottenville, uses the West Shore. The MTA issued an alert that stated "Due to a brush fire in the vicinity of the (former Fresh Kills landfill), there are delays on all Staten Island local and express bus service at this time."

Earlier this afternoon, Woodrow resident Frank Morano was on the West Shore heading toward the Outerbridge when his car was "enveloped in fog" between the Arden Avenue and Victory Boulevard exits.

"It was thicker than any fog you've ever seen," he told the Advance in a telephone interview. "The smoke was so thick, you could taste it. It was very significant."

The fire forced the postponement of a major protest planned at the site where the city is considering a waste-to-energy plant.

The city confirmed that it postponed a tour by a prospective builder of the plant for safety reasons. Shortly after that announcement, the plant protesters postponed their event.

 

 

Link: http://www.silive.com/westshore/index.ssf/2012/04/staten_island_brush_fire_may_b.html

 

I was in this mess. Smoke started to come into the mall around 11 and by 1 it was just all over the place. One of my co-workers had to leave early cuz she has asthma and didn't bring her inhaler. Not a good day in Staten Island.

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I wonder if the express routes down the West Shore Expressway will be taking alternate routes (like Richmond Avenue or something like that). I guess I'll wait until later this afternoon to see if I see them running down the street, instead of the WSE.

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Damn.... and they got a brush fire out there in suffolk also, over there out in ridge or w/e....

(I bet there are some urban developers out there that are grinning from ear to ear)

 

But yeah, muggs that be goin to these picnics all deep in the woods & what not, better be extra careful.... I mean wildfires happen anyway, at this rate though, you're gonna start hearing about more occurrences of 'em....

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I wonder if the express routes down the West Shore Expressway will be taking alternate routes (like Richmond Avenue or something like that). I guess I'll wait until later this afternoon to see if I see them running down the street, instead of the WSE.

 

 

The X19 was running down Richmond Ave Instead of the West Shore Parkway on monday.

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dang, i hope we're not the next Arizona or California

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The X19 was running down Richmond Ave Instead of the West Shore Parkway on monday.

 

 

Yeah, yesterday I saw a few express buses (didn't pay attention to the signage) going down Richmond Avenue.

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...and another brushfire around the turnpike, near the meadowlands...

 

There are gonna be a lot of pissed off NJT bus commuters.

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Yeah, yesterday I saw a few express buses (didn't pay attention to the signage) going down Richmond Avenue.

 

 

Now that I think about it, if I wasn't paying attention to the signage, they could've been X17s.

 

Anyway, I was standing on a cross street that led to Richmond Avenue, so obviously I knew where those buses were heading.

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