Volunteer firefighters were awakened early this morning to deal with a brush fire in East Hampton.
A passerby, possibly a newspaper delivery driver, called police at 3:16 a.m., saying he could see flames in a wooded area on Buckskill Road, off Stephen Hand's Path.
"It was a pretty good size fire," said East Hampton Fire Department Chief Tom Bono. Two engines and a brush truck responded. The brush truck was used because the fire was far enough into the woods that firefighters could not reach it with a hose, the chief said.
Dry, windy conditions fueled the blaze, but Mr. Bono was not sure what caused it. He called the East Hampton Town Fire Marshal's office to investigate the origin. Most of the flames burnt out on their own, and no houses were endangered.
Firefighters used the driveway of a nearby house to get close to the fire, The wind was blowing away from that house, the chief noted. The volunteers were back at the firehouse in an hour and 15 minutes.
Chief Fire Marshal David (Buzzy) Browne said later this morning that the cause was still undetermined. Tom Baker, a fire marshal, was going back to investigate in the daylight, but finding a smoking gun, so to speak, was unlikely, said Mr. Browne.
"Usually, you associate brush fires with the summer and the heat,” he said. “But anytime it's dry and conditions are right, it can happen." The brush fire, he's said, serves as a good reminder to use caution in dry conditions, especially when disposing of cigarettes and ashes from fireplaces.