Fire on Breakneck Ridge: Scenes From the Hudson Valley Blaze

Photos by Kevin Considine

Local firefighters and first responders calmed the flames that broke out between Beacon and Cold Spring.

The fire that tore across Breakneck Ridge on March 9 drew timely action from firefighters and first responders in the Hudson Valley.

The blaze broke out during the evening on March 9 and continued through March 10, moving quickly across the ridge, which sits between Beacon and Cold Spring. According to the Town of Fishkill Police Department, which helped to contain the fire and secure the area, the flames were the result of multiple brushfires near Dutchess Junction and Breakneck Tunnel. Because of this, Route 9D was closed in that area in both directions.

Along with the Town of Fishkill Police, fire and police departments from across both Dutchess and Putnam Counties (Cold Spring Fire, North Highlands Fire, Garrison Fire, Continental Village Fire, Putnam Valley Fire, and Philipstown Ambulance) joined forces to tamp down the flames by Tuesday night. They were joined by New York State Park Rangers and New York State Park staff. Although the disaster destroyed a number of cars along 9D and the train tracks, all individuals in the popular hiking area escaped harm.

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Notably, the Breakneck fire occurred just before the beginning of New York’s burn ban, which is in effect from March 16 through May 14. During this period, open burning, which the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation declares is the single greatest cause of wildfires in the state, is prohibited. There are a few exceptions, including campfires less than three feet high and four feet wide, small cooking fires, and ceremonial or celebratory bonfires. The burning of household trash and leaves is completely prohibited. For more information about the burn ban, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website or contact the DEC hotline at 1.844.332.3267.

Did you witness the Breakneck Ridge fire? Let us know in the comments.

Related: 18 Hudson Valley Trails That Are Perfect for Summer Hikes

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