Crews from multiple departments in Cayuga and Onondaga counties spent hours tackling a large outdoor fire on Monday in the area of Grant Avenue, County House and Chestnut Ridge roads in the town of Sennett.
As of 8 p.m. Monday, part of Grant Avenue Road was still closed to traffic, more than five hours after crews had arrived at the scene.
Sennett Fire Department Assistant Chief Sean Holmes said early Monday evening that the fire was almost out with efforts focusing on extinguishing hot spots.
Initial 911 dispatch radio reports said a number of lumber logs were on fire near the railroad tracks. Responders on the radio said the fire was extremely hot and the wind was blowing, with a thick wooded area nearby.
Holmes said between 200 to 300 logs were on fire. It was difficult to get fire vehicles into the area where the fire was.
Fire departments from Auburn, Mottville, Sennett, Sempronius, Scipio, Aurelius, Throop, Fleming, Weedsport, Port Byron, Owasco, Jordan and Elbridge were called to the scene. New York State Police and the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office also responded to help redirect traffic.
Multiple calls for "all available manpower" were broadcast on the emergency radio system as well as requests for gators from New Hope, West Niles and Sempronius to help clear the wooded area. Onondaga County's Air 1 helicopter was also called to the scene.
The pile of logs was located along an access road where railroad tracks cross Grant Avenue Road. Cayuga County real property records show the site is owned by Chris Sandstrom, who operates Cayuga Tree Service.
At one point, a Finger Lakes Railway train was waiting for crews to clear the line to help firefighters. All traffic was diverted onto County House and Chestnut Ridge roads.