Extreme Weather Series: Brush Fire Milford, CT 4/9/12

Smoke from a large brush fire in Milford CT on April 9, 2012
Smoke from a large brush fire in Milford CT on April 9, 2012 | Source

More Extreme Weather here in CT this time the extreme warmth and dry weather has resulted in a brush fire!!!

Check out the extreme weather from 2011 in links at the bottom of the page! 

When you hear about brush fires, most people envision steep hills of pine catching on fire out in the wild west of Colorado or California. Sometimes the fires break out in isolated wilderness and other times it's encroaching on suburban developments. However it may be a popular notion that brush fires are not frequent east of the Rockies but those are wrong. All across the east coast, when the ground is dry enough, the wind strong enough and the air bone dry, brush fires are only one spark away from chaos and destruction. Today April 9, 2012 was a perfect example of that. In much of New England, including Connecticut, the first three months of 2012 have been beautiful, with above average temperatures (March being the warmest on record) but also some of the driest weather on record. Essentially many places in New England are headed for a drought, even after an extremely wet 2011. Here in Connecticut we have had very dry conditions, with warm temps and low dew points, which sucks the moisture out of the air and the ground. For the past two weeks we have had a number of Red Flag warnings issued because conditions were right for fast moving brush fires. Occasionally you will hear of a small brush fire in one of the more rural areas of Connecticut but they are not as frequent in the more built metro areas of south western Connecticut. April 9, 2012 saw such a fire break out in a very urban area. In fact the brush fire that occurred in MIlford, CT burned in between the rail tracks (which commuters take daily into NYC) and the very busy Boston Post Road (Route 1). This precarious position prevented any easy access to the fire allowing it to burn for a while. Although the fire wasn't extensive it was disruptive. Smoke, as you can see in my photos below, could be seen for miles, parts of the Post Road we're blackened by thick smoke and Metro North, the commuter trains between New Haven and Connecticut had to stop, forcing passengers off in Stratford and stranding passenger head west in New Haven.

I was able to take the photos I posted below not in search of the MIlford fire but because of another fire going on. At 5 pm on April 9th I read on Twitter about a massive fire in the area of Manorville, NY (long Island) and how the 2000 acre blaze smoke could be seen from some parts of Connecticut. So after dinner and charging my DSLR camera I decided to take a ride by the beach to see if I could catch a glimpse on the horizon of the smoke from the brush fire on Long Island. As I got ready to leave I did another search for brush fires on Twitter to get the up-to-date news and found a tweet about a brush fire in my own town. I was skeptical but surprised and it was on the other side of town so I pushed it to the back of my head in order to hopefully get some good pictures across Long Island Sound. As I got into my car to head to the beach, I noticed some low, fast moving dark clouds heading east with the wind fly across my neighborhood. As I drove the half mile to the beach, I followed the stream of clouds, which I knew was smoke by then, getting thicker as I got to the beach. Once at the beach I looked not out over the water but back at the coast to see a plume of smoke behind the scenic coastal town. That is when I began to take photos of the smoke from the brush fire with my camera and my iPhone. If you notice the last photo in the first slide show below is actually a screen capture of the radar on Weatherbug app, the green, which usually means rain is actually the smoke plume showing up on the radar! Although I was still miles away from the actual fire, the dark smoke was ominous enough to get some great photos, especially seeing the smoke rise from behind a quintessential New England coast line. I'm also happy to announce that no homes were lost in this fire, however a boardwalk through an inland marsh was completely burned down from the fire.

iPhone photos of smoke from Brush Fire

Click thumbnail to view full-size
smoke billowing up from a brush fire in Milford, Ct on 4/9/12smoke passing the American Flag at Anchor Beachsmoke on the horizon I was a little late on this one but caught a screen capture of the radar, which showed the plume of smoke.
smoke billowing up from a brush fire in Milford, Ct on 4/9/12
smoke billowing up from a brush fire in Milford, Ct on 4/9/12 | Source
smoke passing the American Flag at Anchor Beach
smoke passing the American Flag at Anchor Beach | Source
smoke on the horizon
smoke on the horizon | Source
I was a little late on this one but caught a screen capture of the radar, which showed the plume of smoke.
I was a little late on this one but caught a screen capture of the radar, which showed the plume of smoke. | Source

DSLR Photos of smoke from Brush Fire

Click thumbnail to view full-size
smoke from brush fire passing the American Flag blowing in the wind on rock at Anchor Beach in Milford, CT on 4/9/12first signs of the brush fire on the beach more smoke began to flow over the horizon out onto the sound smoke from brush fire fills the horizon as it spills over long island sound smoke passing by the American Flag blowing in the windsmoke starts to mix with sunset along the beach Smoke seen along the horizon near interstate 95
smoke from brush fire passing the American Flag blowing in the wind on rock at Anchor Beach in Milford, CT on 4/9/12
smoke from brush fire passing the American Flag blowing in the wind on rock at Anchor Beach in Milford, CT on 4/9/12 | Source
first signs of the brush fire on the beach
first signs of the brush fire on the beach | Source
more smoke began to flow over the horizon out onto the sound
more smoke began to flow over the horizon out onto the sound | Source
smoke from brush fire fills the horizon as it spills over long island sound
smoke from brush fire fills the horizon as it spills over long island sound | Source
smoke passing by the American Flag blowing in the wind
smoke passing by the American Flag blowing in the wind | Source
smoke starts to mix with sunset along the beach
smoke starts to mix with sunset along the beach | Source
Smoke seen along the horizon near interstate 95
Smoke seen along the horizon near interstate 95 | Source

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Comments 4 comments

CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

It's amazing how you very rarely hear about fires this side of the US. Didn't realize it until I read your Hub. It's good to know that no houses were destroyed with this fire! Thanks for Sharing.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 4 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks for the comment CassyLu1981


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Fascinating series of articles you have going on here; I'm a big weather buff and I loved this hub. Nicely written.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 4 years ago from Connecticut Author

thanks billybuc i'm glad you enjoyed it!

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