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Meadowlands brush blaze spreads, draws enormous response

Photo Credit: by John Whelan

With flames shooting more than two stories, a six-alarm fire that began just off Paterson Plank Road in Carlstadt roared through dozens of acres of the Meadowlands north and east of the Izod Center today, bringing 15 or so mutual aid fire departments from throughout the area who operated at the scene or covered for the others. Controlled burns beginning just after 6 p.m. helped forge a barrier.


The first call for the fire at the Rosenthal china wholesaler at 239 Paterson Plank Road came in around 1:15 this afternoon.

More departments were summoned as it began to spread.

Amond those responding were Woodcliff Lake, Mahwah, Upper Saddle River and the South Bergen Mutual Aid Group (East Rutherford, Wallington, Woodridge, Lyndhurst). On standby were Lodi, Maywood, Garfield and others.

Several witnesses told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that smoke blew across the western spur of the nearby New Jersey Turnpike, forcing a brief closure. Motorists were being advised to use the eastern spur.

Although not entirely extinguished, the fire was contained before nightfall.

It’s the time of year when dry and windy conditions make for fires that spread quickly. Dozens of brushfires were reported across the state this weekend, and the hopes were for less trouble as the winds died down. However, several have popped up or continued to burn.

If you’re from around here, you know the various benefits of these kinds of fires, which remove dead plant species and make room for others to reproduce and grow. Provided they don’t spread past the meadows themselves, they clear the way for a greener, healthier environment.


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