EDISON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A brush fire charred more than 250 acres of land Thursday a marshy part of central New Jersey.
The fire was first reported around noon Thursday near the Raritan Center industrial park in Edison, N.J.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, scores of firefighters swarmed to the scene to fight the blaze as it spread. The firefighters had difficulty fighting the blaze because the wind has been fanning the direction of the flames.
“It was closer before, but it’s getting pretty bad out here,” said Devan Wardlow of Edison.
Firefighters had to battle the blaze from above, using a helicopter to drop water. The rare sight brought workers and residents to the top of a hill for a view of the flames.
“It’s probably been up here for about 25 minutes and it’s spread for definitely well over a mile across the whole brush, and it’s definitely a sight to see,” said A.J. Sestito of Edison.
The winds have been pushing the flames away from buildings toward the Raritan River.
“Shifting winds can change the direction of the fire,” said Edison Fire Chief Brian Latham. “At one point, it will be away from you, and at the next point, it’s coming at you.”
Promotore Lowell Carhart was preparing for a show at the industrial park Thursday afternoon.
“We were a little concerned that the perception might be created that this is going to interfere with Mineral, Fossil, Gem and Jewelry Show this weekend, and we want to tell folks that that is not the case,” Carhart said.
The fire was reportedly smelled as far away as Staten Island.
Edison officials said the fire was 95 percent controlled by 5 p.m., although they continued to battle hot spots. There were no evacuation orders issued, and no nearby buildings were threatened.
A separate, smaller brush fire also broke out Thursday near the Washington Avenue overhead bridge in Perth Amboy, N.J. That fire slowed down NJ TRANSIT trains in the area during the evening rush.
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