WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Firefighters worked through the night to knock down a massive brush fire that burned more than 150 acres of land in West Greenwich Wednesday.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) spokesperson Mike Healey said the fire appears to have started in the woods off of Congdon Mill Road, which is part of the Big River Management Area.
While firefighters are still traversing the woods in search of flare-ups, West Greenwich Emergency Management Agency Director Brooke Lawrence tells 12 News that the brush fire is mostly contained.
“You have a lot of thick brush and rough terrain,” he explained. “There are challenges with accessing some areas. We can get to [those areas], it’s just a little bit slower going.”
Lawrence believes firefighters have at least one more day of work ahead of them.
“We’ll be making sure everything is safe and extinguished from outside the perimeter into the inside,” he said. “We should be able to close it out.”
The Rhode Island National Guard’s Black Hawk team circled the fire for hours Wednesday, continuously filling up a large bucket with water from the nearby Carr Pond to douse the flames.
WATCH: Black Hawk team prepares to dump water on massive brush fire (Story continues below.)
The DEM issued a temporary flight restriction surrounding the brush fire to keep the skies clear for the Black Hawk team, which resumed water drops Thursday morning.
Smoke billowing from the massive brush fire could be seen for miles. 12 News viewer Chris Bellows snapped a photo of the smoke from the air as his plane departed T.F. Green International Airport Wednesday afternoon.
Adam Hill, a lieutenant with the DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement, tells 12 News he’s never seen anything like this.
“I have not been involved with a wildland fire of this size in Rhode Island,” he said.
Gov. Dan McKee tells 12 News called the brush fire “historic,” adding this was the first time the R.I. National Guard was called in to drop water onto a fire.
No injuries were reported and the fire didn’t spread to any nearby homes.
WATCH: Sky Drone 12 flies over West Greenwich brush fire (Story continues below.)
The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but the flames were likely fueled by anomalously dry and windy conditions.
The Red Flag Warning issued Wednesday for Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts has since expired, though everyone is still urged to refrain from outdoor burning and use caution when discarding cigarettes.
This brush fire was just one of many that have cropped up since late last week.