RICHMONDVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Firefighters and forest rangers are still working to put out brush fires in Richmondville that started on Wednesday. However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said the fire is now 100% contained.
The brush fires were first reported along the railroad tracks in Richmondville shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. About 16 fire departments responded with 66 firefighters and 15 NYS Rangers, along with NYS Police Aviation to provide water drops.
The fire measured about 200 acres, said the DEC. A New York State Police helicopter dropped 5,700 gallons of water on the fire on Thursday. On that day, the brush fire was about 90% contained.
Officials are still investigating how the fire started, but they believe it may have been caused by sparks ignited by a passing Norfolk Southern train. However, Norfolk Southern is not sure that was the cause.
“Our response last night was to immediately assist the fire department by stopping train traffic so first responders and their equipment could access our tracks to fight the fire,” said Norfolk Southern Senior Communications Manager Connor Spielmaker. “We do not have any information that indicates a train was experiencing any sort of issue that would’ve been producing sparks to start a fire. We’ll continue working with local officials in their response and investigation into the cause.”