One of Rhode Island’s largest brush fires in history blazes on
WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WLNE) — One of the largest brush fires in Rhode Island’s history continues to be active in West Greenwich.
The fire started just before 1 p.m. Wednesday near Congdon Road.
Michael Healey, a Department of Environmental Management spokesperson, said more than 150 acres of land burned.
This is the largest area for a brush fire since the 1940s.
“The smoke was incredible. It was so thick and scary,” said Kristen Watson, who said she saw the fire unattended Wednesday afternoon and called 9-1-1. “We were afraid we were going to have to evacuate. The kids were afraid the house was going to burn down.”
Thursday morning, the fire continued to persist and the woods around Congdon Mill Road remained smoke-filled, as firefighters were back out in full force in an effort to contain any other flare-ups.
West Greenwich’s Emergency Management director Brooke Lawrence told ABC 6 News planning was the key for Thursday.
“You’re trying to determine how big is the fire. Where is it going to go,” Lawrence said. “How many resources do we need? And getting them lined up.”
He added, “We work very deliberately and safely. I’d rather it be a little bit longer time than to work fast and have somebody get hurt.”
Lawrence said they deployed more than 20 fire apparatus again Thursday, and although the National Guard has yet to be called in again, the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a no-fly zone around the area as Rhode Island State Police are using drones to check out the brush from overhead.
No homes have been damaged in the fire, and no injuries have been reported.
Firefighters from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and parts of Connecticut provided mutual aid throughout the day Wednesday.
The National Weather Service on Thursday placed almost all of Southern New England under an elevated fire conditions warning, which means the warmer temperate and stronger winds create favorable fire conditions.