A brush fire that consumed about 150 acres in the Hudson Highlands and along Breakneck Ridge in northern Putnam and southern Dutchess counties is finally out, according to the New York State Police, Troop K headquarters.
On Monday, March 9, a multi-agency response was coordinated in the towns of Fishkill and Philipstown to contain the fire, which was reported at about 1:40 p.m. along the tracks of the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad, on the side of the Hudson River, near the tunnel that carries Route 9D under the mountainside.
“First responders arrived to find a large brush fire on both sides of the tunnel that also had multiple vehicles involved,” according to the Cold Spring Fire Department.
While all hikers came off the mountain safely, several vehicles were destroyed, confirmed the Fishkill Police Department.
The fire reportedly “jumped” over Route 9D and began spreading up the hillside toward Breakneck Ridge, where it continued throughout the night and into Tuesday.
All hiking trails in Hudson Highlands State Park were closed Tuesday, according to an alert from the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The fire was reportedly out by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation, said NYSP.
Among the responding agencies were the North Highlands, Garrison, Continental Village, Putnam Valley, Putnam Station and Cold Spring fire departments; the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police; Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers; NYS Park Police and Park Forest Rangers; Putnam County Sheriff’s Office; and the Air National Guard.
This blaze occurred as New York State approaches its “burn ban” period, from March 16 through May 14, in which burning is prohibited across the state with several exceptions due to the risk of brush fires.
Also on Monday, the Kent Volunteer Fire Department led a coordinated effort to extinguish a brush fire on Dean Road off Farmer’s Mills Road that was threatening multiple residences. Responding agencies include the Mahopac, Carmel and Lake Carmel fire departments.