Flames creep toward Orangeburg houses, embers hit homes on Tweed Boulevard
BY BILL DEMAREST
CLAUSLAND MOUNTAIN – The brush fire that swept up the west side of Clausland Mountain all afternoon and night on Thursday this morning began to threaten homes on both sides of the mountain.
Orangeburg volunteer firefighters were called out early this morning to protect homes along Greenbush Road, where flames were approaching homes there. At about 4:45 a.m., volunteers of the Nyack Fire Department were called out to Tweed Boulevard at the top of Clausland Mountain, where embers from the fire were flying across the road and landing on homes overlooking the Hudson River.
Emergency medical crews have also been called out to Tweed Boulevard to assist firefighters who have been affected by debris in their eyes.
The fire was discovered at about 1:15 p.m. on Thursday behind Nice Pak Products along Greenbush Road and firefighting efforts soon scaled up to become a regional effort that included volunteers from throughout Rockland County and received aid from fighters from Westchester, Bergen and West Point. A military helicopter used a special bucket to drop water on the fire Thursday afternoon.
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.
Nyack firefighters have called for tanker trucks from neighboring fire departments to bring more water to the top of the mountain to assist in their efforts. An ambulance crew has also arrived on Tweed Boulevard to assist injured firefighters.
In Orangeburg, Nice Pak has also called for firefighters to come to their facilities along Greenbush Road because of concerns about flames.