Nesconset firefighters help fight huge brush fire near Brookhaven National Lab
Ridge, NY (SmithtownRadio.com) – As 120 fire departments from across the island battled the biggest fire on Long Island in nearly two decades Monday, residents living near the front lines were being evacuated ahead of the approaching flames. As of 10:45 p.m., the east side of the fire burning along Middle Country Road near Brookhaven National Lab in Ridge had not yet been contained.
Three firefighters were injured fighting the 2,000 acre blaze, which broke out around 2:30 p.m. Monday along the north east corner of the lab. Two firefighters were treated and released from Stony Brook University Medical Center for smoke inhalation. The third remains hospitalized with serious burns.
Continuing Coverage: Ridge / Manorville Brush Fires
Two homes and a business were destroyed in the blaze, officials say. A third home was also damaged.
The Nesconset Fire Department sent one fire engine, a brush truck and a chief to assist.
Residents living ahead of the fire’s path were evacuated by Riverhead police around 5 p.m. to a shelter at the town senior center, located on Shade Tree Lane.
The Long Island Rail Road warns east end customers temporary service disruptions should be expected on the Ronkonkoma and Montauk branches. LIPA is also turning off electricity in some neighborhoods and to a main transmission line, which runs through the area.
Realtime Roads and Rails: SmithtownRadio.com Traffic & Transit Center
Portions of the Long Island Expressway service road, William Floyd Parkway and Route 25 are closed along with several local streets as crews work to contain the blaze.
The National Weather Service, which is housed inside the lab property, had issued a Fire Weather Warning Monday morning because high winds and low humidities are prime conditions to start and spread brushfires. Tuesday’s forecast calls for slightly better conditions for fire crews with wind gusts around 20 mph and relative humidity near 30 percent.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is expected to hold a press conference with fire officials and the Red Cross Wednesday morning.
A cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
The following area is being evacuated:
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