Brush Fire Erupts on Long Island, Homes Evacuated

Some 300 homes and a day care center were evacuated

A large brush fire erupted Tuesday in the Manorville area on Long Island, and officials evacuated 300 homes and a day care center before it was contained.

Authorities said 35 fire departments responded to the blaze, which burned just south of the Long Island Expressway near exit 69. It began during the afternoon in a mostly vacant area and began moving southeast, toward homes, traveling two miles in 15 minutes, officials said.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said small pockets of fire were still burning after 4 p.m., but the situation was considered contained.

Homes near Weeks Avenue and Moriches-Middle Island Road were evacuated, officials said.

No injuries were reported and there was no damage to structures.

Much of the tri-state is under a fire warning because of high winds and dry conditions. Gusts at Brookhaven Airport nearby were reported up to 21 mph on Tuesday.

The fire area is in a severe drought.

The closest location to the fire that keeps rainfall data is Islip MacArthur Airport, about 20 miles away. As of Tuesday morning, the airport is 8.5 inches below normal rainfall for 2012.

Last week, firefighters battled a blaze that burned across more than 1,000 acres in the Manorville area.

Steve Sosna contributed to this story

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