Two hundred firefighters battled a five-alarm brush fire in Staten Island all night, getting the blaze under control—for now, the Staten Island Advance reports. The fire began in the former Fresh Kills landfill, where heat from decaying mulch is believed to have spontaneously ignited a pile of composting wood chips; gusty winds spread the fire across the West Shore Expressway, forcing the roadway to close. A “huge cloud of thick smoke” was visible from the borough and New Jersey, and its smell still lingers this morning.
Conditions favorable for brush fires will continue until it rains, the paper reports, and winds are expected to return today, though they are not expected to be as powerful as yesterday’s.
The city is transforming the old landfill into a park that will be three times the size of Central Park. The process is expected to take 30 years.