The flickering flames of Clausland Mountain in southern Rockland County were a fiery siren call and Thursday and Friday to firefighters and reporters alike. Photographer Kenny Flynn was on location in Orangeburg and took fantastic night shots of the burning mountain from in back of Tappan Zee High School.
As reported by Bill Demarest of the Nyack Free Press, “the fire was discovered at about 1:15 p.m. on Thursday behind Nice Pak Products along Greenbush Road.” The fire swept along rapidly across the dry brush of the mountain and the entire firefighting effort was scaled to include volunteer firefighters from throughout Rockland County as well as aid from Westchester, Bergen and West Point. A military helicopter used a special bucket to drop water on the fire Thursday afternoon, reported Demarest:
Flames race across Clausland Mountain Thursday night. Photographer Kenny Flynn caught the dangerous blaze in full, dancing color.
Volunteers from neighboring fire departments ranging from Nyack and New City to Congers and Pearl River were soon called in to assist with manpower and equipment at the bottom of the mountain. Volunteers and crews from EMS units such as Nyack Community Ambulance Corps have also set up at the top of the mountain at Orangetown’s Nike Park.
Firefighters were pulled off the steep slopes of the mountain as nighttime operations in the dark became too dangerous. The fire, as of Thursday night, had affected more than 30 acres of Orangetown and Rockland County park land and firefighters were planning to return to the mountain at about 8 a.m. to continue working on the fire.
However, firefighters returned to the mountain overnight to protect homes along Greenbush Road, where homeowners feared approaching flames could affect their homes. Nyack firefighters are now at the area of 73 Tweed Boulevard fighting brush fires that have reached the narrow road at the top of the mountain on its east side.
According to Nyack Free Press, “Rockland County fire officials attribute the brush fire to extremely dry conditions created by a lack of rainfall recently, with leaf piles on the ground fueling the fire. Early Thursday, the National Weather Service had issued an alert for the region warning that extremely dry conditions have created a brush fire danger.
The night time sky was lit up all along the Hudson Valley from the fire on Clausland Mountain. The full report along with some amazing images of the blaze can be found at Nyack Free Press.
Firefighters from across the region are still at work on the blaze.
Photos of the Clausland Mountain fire photos courtesy of Kenny Flynn.