Newark – At approximately 8:00 this morning crews from Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder’s Stations 9 and 7, along with Hockession Fire Company 19 and DNREC Police responded to White Clay Creek State Park for reports of a large brush fire.
Arriving units found approximately 175 hay bales on fire near the Whitley Farms Trail. Upon arrival command called for Tanker 19 and an excavator. Brush Truck 9-0, Engine 9 and Quint 7 were on scene when command determined the best course of action was to allow the fire to burn itself out.
The fire scene, which is located about half a mile off Paper Mill road, was not easily visible from the road. The fire appeared to have been burning for some time but no calls were received from any the residents that live in the area, according to officials. The first reports from of the fire came into 911 dispatch just before 8:00 am.
Many of the hikers and cyclist along the trail have been stopping to take photos of the fire throughout the morning.
Officials said that a similar fire occurred at the location last Spring. That fire was determined to have been caused by spontaneous combustion.
A rough calculation from online hay sales websites places the loss between $8,000 and $15,000 dollars.