Firefighters in Suffolk County have contained a massive and ugly wildfire in Suffolk County that has destroyed over one thousand acres of land.For nearly twenty-four hours, hundreds of firefighters from all one hundred and nine towns of Suffolk responded to battle the massive blaze that was fueled by dry weather and fierce wind.
"We have prevented a significant disaster," said County Executive Steve Bellone as he praised the firefighters, who by the way, are mostly volunteer.
Crews jumped on massive rigs built to tear through swamps and rough terrain to battle the fire deep in the woods of Manorville. For the areas they couldn't reach on ground, they battled by air. The National Guard and State Police sent up helicopters drop water from above to tough hot spots.
They describe the fire as a 'beast of a blaze.'
At the fire's peak, Riverhead Town police called for a mandatory evacuation of residents living in the area closest to the fire. About fifty residents evacuated their homes some who returned today to see the damage.
"It's heartbreaking," said one resident who left late last night as the fire neared his backyard, and returned today to a charred home.
The Red Cross set up shelters in Riverhead for those who evacuated their homes. The SPCA also opened up shelters for animals, as the County declared a state of emergency.
Around two o'clock officials gave the thumbs up that the fire had been knocked down, but remained on alert for any hotspots that may reflare up.
In the meantime, Governor Cuomo flew in by helicopter to praise the hundreds of men and women who avoided what he describes as a "major catastrophe."
There is no cause of the fire as of yet, and it is now under investigation by the Arson Squad.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun