A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Saturday Look at Wednesday's Fire Along Route 35 at Cliffwood

Northward view of fire damage along Route 35 at the Monmouth-Middlesex county line.
Southward view of fire damage along Route 35 at the Monmouth-Middlesex county line.
I checked out the scene of the brush fire in Cliffwood last Wednesday. I parked my car in the Rebound Gymnastics parking lot and walked northward along Route 35 South past the storage company to get there.  A Laurence Habor Fire Department vehicle was on the scene.

A tree continues to smolder, prompting calls from residents.

Firefighters plan to deal with this inaccessible burning tree on Saturday.
Another Laurence Harbor Fire Department vehicle arrived soon after I began snapping pictures. George told me they are on the scene to keep an eye on a smoldering tree that remains frustratingly inaccessible. They've received a number of calls from worried residents and want to assure everyone that they have the matter well in hand. Hopefully this afternoon they will reach the tree and resolve this last vestige of Wednesday evening's fire.
These Old Bridge houses were protected by a barrier of wetlands
The LH firefighter told me that homes visible on a ridge near the scene (above photos) were on the other side of a waterway and not in any serious danger on Wednesday. The real concern was to keep the fire from crossing the highway, where the backyards of many Cliffwood Beach (Old Bridge) homes would have been exposed to the flames. The fire made regional news outlets such as NJ 12 News, The Asbury Park Press, et al.
The reeds will grow back soon enough. For now, though, the area looks pretty desolate.

Whale Creek passes through scorched lands days after a huge brushfire that closed Route 35 in Cliffwood.

Whale Creek culvert on southbound side of Route 35 at the county line.
The fire exposed that troublesome section of Whale Creek, which floods so frequently and prompts officials to close Route 35. Hopefully, the Whale Creek culvert is the one being renovated in an upcoming state roads project.


  1. Nice photos, thanks for posting them!

  2. I made a point to drive that section of 35 today, in the day light, and I had a few thoughts. First, while I am no fireman, but my guess is that the fire started via a discarded cigarette butt. And, BTW, why is it that some smokers feel so inclined to flick their butts out the window while driving? Don't be lazy, use your ashtray! I can't tell you how many people I see doing this both on my way to and from work. Second, it is amazing how small Whale creek appears here when the marsh is burned, hard to believe that small creek causes so much flooding. The marsh will grow back quickly, I remember massive fires in the swamps along the NJT tracks to NYC in Hudson County and they grew back really quickly.