Multiple Fires Burning Through Popular Hudson Valley Hiking Spots
A beautiful day turned into chaos after multiple fires burned through over a 300-acre area in the Hudson Valley, destroying cars and sending hikers running down the mountain.
Early Monday, the National Weather Service warned that dry and mild weather with minimum relative humidity, combined with occasional wind gusts up to 25 mph, will result in enhanced potential for fire spread today should ignition occur.
By Monday afternoon, a fire broke out on Route 9D, north of the tunnel through the Breakneck Ridge, near across the Putnam–Dutchess county line. Due to dry brush, wind and warm temperatures, the fire jumped Route 9D and made its way up the mountain at Hudson Highlands State Park.
Around 1:45 p.m., the Cold Spring Fire along with Dutchess Junction Fire were dispatched to a brush fire along the train tracks in the area of the tunnel. First responders arrived to find a large brush fire on both sides of the tunnel that also had multiple vehicles involved. Multiple departments worked together to extinguish the vehicle fires and brush fire along 9D and the train tracks. However, the fire spread up the mountain.
Town of Fishkill police later reported multiple brush fires in the area of Dutchess Junction and Breakneck Tunnel forced the closure of Route 9D in both directions. Route 9D was reopened around 10 p.m.
By nightfall, multiple fires were reported over a 300-acre area on Mount Beacon in Hudson Highlands State Park, NBC reports. Photos seen below show the devastation.
Several vehicles were destroyed, but all the hikers came off the mountain safely, according to the Town of Fishkill Police Department. Firefighters said they planned to work long after dark in hopes of bringing the fire under control. The cause of the blaze and how much damage remains unclear.
Officials say it will take some time before the fires are put out. All hiking trails in Hudson Highlands State Park are closed until further notice. New York State Parks Police tells us the fire was not part of a controlled burn.