Windy, dry conditions create risk of wildfires on Long Island

The combination of wind and dry conditions creates the risk for wildfires on Long Island, bringing back memories of the 2012 devastation in Suffolk.

News 12 Staff

Apr 5, 2021, 11:57 PM

Updated 1,110 days ago

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The combination of wind and dry conditions creates the risk for wildfires on Long Island, bringing back memories of the 2012 devastation in Suffolk.
On April 9, 2012, two separate brush fires erupted. The two fires merged into one and destroyed more than 1,100 acres of pine barrens in Manorville and Ridge.
Manorville Fire Chief Joe Danowski was with one of the 109 fire departments that answered the call.
"The wind was similar, probably a little bit more than today," says Danowski. "It was very dry out. Even though it rained the wind dries out the brush very quickly."
Danowski says the terrain made it difficult to fight the fire.
"There is swamp in part of the area that the trucks couldn't get in or they got stuck," says Danowski. "It was a very difficult fire to actually get trucks in there too."
The brush fire became the seventh largest in the state history since 1975. It destroyed three homes and injured three firefighters.
Neal Coleman, of Manorville, remembers the wall of the wildfire closing in on his home.
"We kind of realized if we didn't leave, we were going to get trapped some place so we kind of scooted out," says Coleman.
Coleman says he was lucky because the wind died down sparing his home from being destroyed.
Danowski says refrain from tossing cigarettes or starting fire pits in wooded areas because the slightest spark can cause devastation.


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