Brush fire burns land in borough

Naugatuck Fire Capt. Jason Alford knocks down a brush fire behind a condominium complex between Mallane Lane and Spring Street in Naugatuck on Sunday afternoon. Brush fire danger is high and fire officials encourage people to take precaution. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Naugatuck Fire Capt. Jason Alford knocks down a brush fire behind a condominium complex between Mallane Lane and Spring Street in Naugatuck on Sunday afternoon. Brush fire danger is high and fire officials encourage people to take precaution. -REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — Thick black smoke billowed high over Route 8 between Naugatuck and Waterbury on Sunday afternoon as a brush fire spread across a hillside off Spring Street in Naugatuck.

The fire damaged about an acre of wooded area and came close to a trailer park on Mallane Lane and a condominium complex on Spring Street before the Naugatuck Fire Department knocked it down.

The Naugatuck Fire Department was one of several area fire departments, including Waterbury, which responded to brush fires this weekend.

The National Weather Service has put out a warning about how a lack of rain, a slight breeze and dry ground combine to make the perfect storm for brush fires. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also warned that brush fire danger is high.

Naugatuck Fire Capt. Jason Alford said residents should be cognizant of putting out smoking materials properly and to be careful of embers around fire.

The state DEEP, which says about 500 acres of Connecticut woodland are burned by forest fires every year, says people who spot a forest fire should remain calm and call 911 immediately.

Additionally, they ask that people take precautions, such as: have firefighting tools nearby and handy; carefully dispose of hot charcoal; and drown all fires.

For homeowners, the following steps are suggested, according to the DEEP: make a fire safe zone around your house. Clean flammable vegetation and debris from at least 30 feet around the house and any outbuildings; prune away the lower limbs of evergreens that are within the fire safe zone. Evergreens catch fire easily during dry periods and burn quickly; and dispose of wood ashes in a metal bucket, soaking them with water before dumping them.