Scorcher in the swamp

Photo by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Kearny Brush Fire


By Anthony J. Machcinski


In what has been an unusually busy month for the Kearny Fire Department, firefighters responded to the Kearny meadows near the 15W exit of the New Jersey Turnpike after about four acres of meadows went up in flames, sending large, black plumes of smoke into the afternoon sky.

The fire started around 4:40 p.m. on March 27, shutting down the northbound and southbound exit ramps of the 15W for over an hour.

“With everything being dry, that was definitely a contributing factor,” said Kearny Fire Chief Steven Dyl, who noted that a windy day and warm conditions favor brushfires. Dyl said that there was no official cause for the fire.

The blaze was under control in about an hour, with fire officials leaving the scene around 7:15 p.m.

Image courtesy of Google Maps/ A satelite photograph of the area where the brush fire took place. The fire destroyed nearly four acres of land near the 15W exit of the Turnpike.


“Usually, there is an increase (of meadow fires) during this time of the year,” Dyl explained, saying that the brush is still dry and getting access to some of these areas is hard given the marsh conditions.

Kearny firefighters had another fire to deal with a day later when at 10:55 a.m. on March 28, an office trailer located near the Hudson County Jail caught fire.

The blaze, which was a 1-alarm fire, was deemed under control by 11:28 a.m. As of the Observer’s press time, no reason had been listed as to the cause of the fire, and the trailer was awaiting inspection from the Hudson County Fire Marshall.

No injuries occurred in either fire.

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