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April 17, 2008
Update: Smoky brush fire strikes at Bristol-Warren line
Journal photo / C. Eugene Emery
The smoke from the brush fire rises against the western sky. It was visible for miles. Click here for an aerial view map of the area.
BRISTOL -- A large brush fire tore through woods and marshland between Narragansett Bay and the East Bay Bike Path this afternoon, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky and severely damaging a boardwalk owned by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.
It appeared the fire started somewhere opposite Hanley Farm Road, in Warren, sometime around 4 p.m. and rapidly spread south, burning through land near the Audubon’s education center in Bristol and the sprawling North Farm residential development.
Bristol fire and police personnel blocked off a half-mile section of the bike path as firefighters battled flames engulfing trees and scrub along the shoreline.
Dark smoke from the fire was visible as far away as Barrington. Kristen Swanberg, the Audubon’s education director, said phragmites, an invasive marsh plant that grows in the area, produce thick smoke when they burn.
She and other Audubon employees, including Anne DiMonti, director of the Bristol center, were at the boardwalk inspecting the damage caused by the flames as the fire continued to burn in other spots nearby. They said the boardwalk, which winds through a salt marsh, will have to be replaced.
Parts of the log fence along the bike path were also badly burned.
No houses were in the way of the fire. The residences at North Farm and Hanley Farm Road sit on the other side of the bike path.
-- Journal staff writer Alex Kuffner
Posted by Mike McKinney at 7:16 PM | Permalink
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