Kings Park fire chief Mark O'Brien on Tuesday described what his fire crews saw upon arriving at the Ridge and Manorville brush fires on Monday: "It was a wall of smoke."
"It was just a wall of smoke," he said. "That’s what the guys were encountering as they went in there. The guys saw plenty of fire, a wall of smoke."
As of noon on Tuesday, O'Brien said, King's Park first assistant chief Danny Guilfoil and a crew of seven volunteers with a brush truck remained at the scene helping firefighters from around Long Island extinguish the fire, which officials described as "almost entirely extinguished."
"It’s definitely one of the biggest brush fires I’ve seen in a very long time, since the wildfires of 1995" in Westhampton, O'Brien said.
The first Kings Park crew arrived at about 4:15 p.m. Monday and returned home at around 10 p.m. Monday night. A second crew arrived home at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Hundreds of firefighters attacked two main blazes, one in Ridge and one in Manorville. O'Brien said the Kings Park crews initially were sent to attack the Ridge fire before being reassigned to the Manorville fire.
"Trying to keep track of everybody and where they were going was very difficult," O'Brien said. "I thought they did a great job. The job our guys did was tremendous."