2012-02-22 / Front Page

Brush Blaze Blackens 20 Acres of Woodlands

Garrison, Cold Spring, Continental Village crews among responders

A careless camper may have caused a large brush blaze that blackened 20 acres of rugged terrain along the Appalachian Trail this week.

The fire off Route 9D at the Philipstown-Cortlandt town line was reported Wednesday afternoon but wasn’t extinguished until 36 hours later due to the area’s inaccessibility by fire equipment.

Continental Village Fire Chief Charles Valt told the PCN&R the fire began at the entrance to a hiking trail which was indicative that a camper or hiker may have discarded a cigarette which inadvertently started the fire.

Fire crews from Continental Village, Garrison, Cold Spring and Peekskill were assisted by a Westchester County Police Department helicopter equipped with a special chemical tank that allowed fire crews to battle the blaze both from the ground as well as the air.

No injuries were reported.

Chief Valt said the fire was the largest brush blaze in the Putnam region during the past 15 years: “Conditions were ideal. The winter has been relatively snowless. Ground cover was dry and winds had kicked up. Such conditions are normally found in April not February.”


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