West Islip Firefighters Battle Brush Fire Near Brookhaven Lab

Local Volunteers say major portion of fire is under control, though hot embers and wind are still a concern.

With a brush fire in Manorville heading into its 22nd hour, and fire crews on the ground being pulled so officials can drop thousands of gallons of water to douse it, many on the ground – including those in the West Islip Fire Department – are saying significant progress has been made.

"I think we have a good handle on a major portion of it," said Second Assistant Chief Blaise Gemellaro. "But that could change in a heartbeat. You never know."

Firefighters from West Islip arrived at the scene of the brush fire at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The crews split up Monday, with half of them heading to Manorville from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. as others stayed in West Islip to battle a Monday afternoon.

Officials reported Tuesday afternoon that the flames from the brush fire are almost entirely extinguished following a massive coordination of more than a hundred fire departments from across Suffolk County.

However, crews remain cautious, as hot embers could strike a dry spot, start a fire, and spread as the wind blows, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said earlier Tuesday.

"Yesterday was pretty intense," said West Islip fire department Lieutenant Mike Cooper, who aided the massive fire in Manorville Monday. "It's calmer today...yesterday it was just heavier, there was a lot more fire."


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