ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. (PIX11) — Areas of Rockland County experienced brush fires Friday afternoon, according to officials.
Wildfire flames burned right up to the edge of homes in Rockland County. The extreme heat was so intense officials said the siding on some homes melted.
“We did have reports of a detached garage and cosmetic (damage), as far as siding,” said Clarkstown Detective Norm Peters said.
Officials said a handful of homes were damaged, and no residents were injured. Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion, the post reads.
“The embers were, it was like raining embers, it was crazy,” said Ken McQuade, a retired volunteer firefighter, told PIX11 News. “I saw a huge orange glow. I mean, it was like 30 feet behind that house.”
As flames approached, Clarkstown Police went door to door at the Hidden Valley Town Homes to make sure residents were safe, tying yellow caution tape on banisters once they knew the homes were empty.
The Rockland County Sheriff’s office posted on its Facebook that the fires started because of sparks coming off a CSX train traveling through Clarkstown, Stony Point, Haverstraw, Village of Haverstraw and Village of West Haverstraw. The sheriff’s office also advised people to avoid route 9W.
The hot weather and bone-dry conditions made the wildfire that much more unpredictable and more difficult to fight.
“It just seems like it’s the first few hot days and it caught everybody with extreme heat and the fire and the weather combination. It’s tough conditions,” Peters said.
Congressman Mike Lawler said on Twitter that he spoke with the director of state operations, who said the state is sending resources to help fight the fires that have many homes in jeopardy.
New York Sen. Bill Weber took to his Twitter to call on CSX to make sure its trains do not cause fires again.