A Look Back: The Long Island Brush Fires of 2012

Some 1,100 acres in Manorville and Ridge burned for 22 hours in early April.

On April 9, a massive brush fire broke out in Manorville and Ridge. More than 50 fire departments responded to the blaze, which raged for 22 hours. It was extinguished after water bombs were dropped on the last of the flames. A total of 1,100 acres burned and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has since determined that the cause was arson. No arrests have been made to date.

The following are some top headlines from Patch's coverage of the event.

Two brush fires that broke out in Brookhaven and Riverhead on April 9, one in Ridge near Brookhaven National Lab and another in Manorville, continued to spread despite the best efforts of fire departments from across Suffolk County.

Bellone: 'This Was a Very Dangerous Fire' [VIDEO]

Suffolk County Executive Bellone called Tuesday's brush fire in Manorville a "very dangerous fire" that fire departments were able to get under control before it wrought more damage.

VIDEO: Firefighters Drive Through Brush Fire

Southampton Fire Department sent 30 firefighters to the Brookhaven and Riverhead brush fires for two days, including Capt. Jason Poremba, driver Rich Grodski, rear crew leader Dean McNamara, and rear crew hose team Edgar Franklin, Brian Cooke and Robin Owens. "Surrounded by fire and heavy smoke made it a difficult job for all," McNamara said. "The video does not depict how crazy it was."

Injured Firefighter Recalls Harrowing Experience

Only hours after being released from Stony Brook University Medical Center’s burn unit, Manorville firefighter William Hille, who was injured in , was back at the firehouse among his fellow firefighters on April 11, describing his traumatic experience.

Firefighters Head Home After Extinguishing Blaze

More than 24 hours after the Brookhaven brush fire started, evacuation orders have were lifted and residents forced to leave their homes because of the fires were returning home on April 12.

Fire departments from across the East End responded to brush fires that started in the towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead — the most serious wildfires eastern Long Island has experienced since 1995. These photos from Patch journalists and readers tell the story of the fire that raged for 22 hours.

Local Firefighters Recount Brush Fire; Head Home

Of the 50 volunteer fire departments called to fight the raging Long Island brush fire in Brookhaven Town, four departments were some of Westhampton-Hampton Bays bravest.

As a brush fire in Manorville raged into its 22nd hour and officials started dropping "water bombs" to douse the area and contain the fire's spread, a handful of volunteer fire crews sat on benches outside Saints Peter and Paul Church - the staging area for Suffolk County Fire and Rescue Emergency Services and its cooperating units - and enjoyed a welcome respite.

Frantic Residents Search For Pets Lost in Fire

Their family home destroyed, Kathleen Moretti and her husband George searched through the ashes and rubble of their fire ravaged residence on Wednesday for two cats who have been missing since the fire started.

The Last Hoof Out of the Brush Fire

Bella, an 8-year-old gray Appendix, only trusts a few people. In the midst of the raging brush fire in Manorville on Monday, the mare became even more nervous — pacing and running in circles as her fellow stablemates were loaded, one by one, on trailers.

Annie's Acres, on Wading River Manor Road, evacuated a total of 58 horses, according to Elizabeth Johnston, of Mt. Sinai, whose family owns Bella and three other horses boarded there. Bella was the last one to be evacuated.

If two things are clear in the wake of the large brush fires in Manorville and Ridge they are that the horseback riding community jumps to help one another out and that an organized horse evacuation plan is necessary for the equine-dense Suffolk County.

An estimated 100 horses were evacuated from the area around Annie's Acres Stable in Manorville on Monday and another 100 more could have been evacuated had the fire changed course.

DEC Says Brush Fire Caused by Arson

Both county and state officials seem to agree that the cause of April's 1,100-acre brush fire started as a result of some unnatural cause. However as the county continues to investigate, a Department of Environmental Conservation document reportedly concluded arson is to blame.


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