Brushfire along New Jersey Turnpike in Secaucus snarls traffic, causes NJ Transit delays

Smoke and flames were seen for miles while the fire was burning. Secaucus firefighters were stationed on the Amtrak rails putting out hotspots.

Matt Trapani and Amanda Lee

Jun 20, 2024, 8:11 PM

Updated 30 days ago

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A brushfire that spanned multiple acres along the New Jersey Turnpike in Secaucus Thursday afternoon caused traffic issues on the highway and delays on New Jersey Transit.
The fire started around 3 p.m. near mile marker 111.4. The New Jersey State Forest Fire Service says that the fire was a phragmites fire. Phragmites is a type of reed that burns very quickly and creates a lot of dark smoke.
Smoke and flames were seen for miles while the fire was burning. Secaucus firefighters were stationed on the Amtrak rails putting out hotspots while commuters dealt with delays on both sides of the Turnpike.
"You couldn't tell whether it was because of the fire or just normal traffic. Usually when it gets to be a 100 degrees, people don't want to take mass transit, so they drive,” said driver Mark Valenti.
Connecticut state Sen. MD Rahman found himself in the traffic with his family on the way to Washington D.C.
"It’s not fun to sit in the traffic with your family because we have a long drive to DC. We drove 2 ½ hours from Connecticut. We still have the four hours to drive,” he said.
NJ Transit rail service was suspended into and out of New York Penn Station for a time because the fire caused overhead wire issues. Service has since resumed with delays.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.


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