MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Fire crews are battling two active fires in Middletown after a brush fire began on Tuesday and another fire began early Wednesday morning.
Fire crews were dispatched to the scene on River Road around 1 p.m. Tuesday. They found a live wire down on the road across from a fallen tree.
The downed wire started a small brush fire that later became a major blaze. The fire was contained Tuesday night, according to Deputy Chief James Trzaski.
Eversource was called and though their response was quick, Trzaski said the wind drove up the fire.
“The challenge today was the wind,” Trzaski said. “The wind was exceptionally brisk. We had winds that looked to be about 30 miles an hour… and with the topography, the wind pushed the fire up the hill and over the top of the ridges which caused fire heights of about 30, 40 feet in the air.”
He said at least 250 acres have burned and they surmise it will be up to 300 acres by the time the fire is fully extinguished.
“We burned directly off of that line and then as soon as that fire front goes back toward the main fire, the two fires meet. That goes out. They call that a burnout operation. We’re burning out fuel ahead of the main fire,” said Rich Schenk, Fire Control Officer.
At one point, Trzaski said there were at least 10 different fire departments on the scene, with around 100 firefighters assisting. They were pulled out at nightfall.
DEEP and South Fire District crews remained on scene overnight to monitor the scene of the fire. Officials reported that a second brush fire began Wednesday morning at 2:00 a.m. as embers from the first fire blew across the street to Freeman Road.
DEEP officials believe that the second fire may be suspicious in nature.
According to officials, the second fire endangered a home on River Road, but officials report the home is now in good standing.
The second brush fire is still active and DEEP is currently burning its own backfires to help control the fire in order to protect the power station.
During the process of back burning, small fires are lit in front of the main front fire to stop a major fire from burning out specific areas. Backburning helps reduce the amount of fuel available to the main fire, according to the CTIF.
Firefighters are working alongside DEEP to find the best way to attack the fire. Crews will remain at the scene of the fire throughout the morning.
One firefighter suffered an ankle injury but has since been treated and released.
Stay with News 8 for updates.