Just mere miles from my home there is a forest fire raging out of control. Fire fighters have been working over 2 days now to put out this fire which has consumed between 1,700 and 2,000 acres of forest land.
A man was burning brush in his back yard and it got out of control. The fire spread to the nearby forest and quickly spread to thousands of acres of land.
Route 52 was closed off today as fireman battled the blaze.
The village of Cragsmoor was evacuated due to the danger of the fire spreading out of control and burning their town. But they were later allowed back to their homes.
I tried to get through to see the fire but route 52, a main traffic artery, was blocked off by police. A friendly police officer sent me on an alternate route to Elllenville where I learned that you can drive right up to the fire on route 209.
I drive out to see what I could find.
There is a parking spot along the road where everyone is stopping to see the fire nearby. Even news crews were set up there recording the incident live.
I drove further on and was able to drive right past the fire burning right at the side of the road. Fireman were working to contain the blaze as I passed.
I drove a bit further and turned around for another look.
I got another close up view of the fire burning right by the road. Up in front of me you can see a helicopter dropping water on top of the blaze but it looks so small and useless against such a large fire.
At one point you could see the fire reaching above the tree tops where it was burning very hot and heavy.
Later I chatted with an officer at the local fire department. He did not want to be interviewed on video but was kind enough to chat with me and give me some details.
The fire is currently burning downhill towards route 209 and this is a good thing he said. Fire does not burn well downhill and it can be contained at that point.
But if it burns uphill towards route 52 then it could blow over their heads and they could lose all control of the fire.
As it looks now though they are fighting it further downhill away from 52 and they have confidence that it will not harm any homes now.
I risked driving on route 52 on the way home to see if I would be allowed to pass. Even though they have road block signs up the police are not stopping anyone as long as you drive slowly.
There are stations set up with coolers and provisions for the workers in the forest.
On Route 52 it was surreal with the gray smoke everywhere and the smell of burning leaves in the air. You can see the fire raging in the woods not far away.
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