Officials: Suffolk wildfire mostly extinguished

MANORVILLE - The wildfires that charred about 1,000 acres in Ridge and Manorville are mostly extinguished, according to Suffolk officials, with the exception of a few smoldering hot spots.

"This could have been a lot worse," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who toured the scorched area today and declared a state of emergency for Suffolk. "All the ingredients were there for a real tragedy."

Cuomo says he declared a state of emergency to give the state and county more flexibility in receiving resources and financial assistance.

The wildfires sparked yesterday on the northern side of the Brookhaven National Lab property and quickly tore across the Pine Barrens, fed by strong gusts and thick brush that has been parched by dry weather.

Officials say a total of 109 Long Island fire departments responded to the fire. Helicopters from the state police and Air National Guard also assisted in scouting out problem areas and dousing flare-ups.

County officials have lifted the evacuation orders for some residents in the towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead that were put in place yesterday as a precaution.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said nine structures were destroyed by the flames, including two houses.

The Long Island Rail Road also announced that train service between Greenport and Riverhead will be restored Wednesday morning. Service had been suspended as flames got too close to the tracks.

In all, officials said that despite three firefighters suffering relatively minor injuries, they are thankful that no residents were injured escaping the path of the fire.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated by Suffolk's arson squad, officials say. There have been reports that it was sparked by a controlled burn, but the Department of Environmental Conservation, which typically handles such burns, says it did not participate in any controlled burns Monday.

Firefighters continue search for last remaining hot spotsFirefighters battle massive brush fire in Ridge-Manorville areaChopper 12 video of Ridge brush fireVIDEO: Suffolk Exec. Bellone's news conference on brush fireManorville residents evacuated amid huge brush fireFire crews set up command post at Manorville churchBrookhaven supervisor talks about wildfire response

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to 1 AG Sessions to MS-13 on LI: We are coming for you
Sen. Phil Boyle is pushing to make it 2 Sen. Boyle pushes to ban posting violent acts on social media
United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was met 3 Protesters gather as AG Sessions speaks on LI gang violence
Some residents in Syosset and Woodbury are concerned 4 Syosset, Woodbury residents concerned over new cell towers
Schools districts on Long Island and across the 5 Schools warn parents about Netflix's '13 Reasons Why'

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.