Brush fire breaks out at Woodland Park in Darien

Photo of Justin Papp

DARIEN — As recent dry weather has made conditions favorable for brush fires, a blaze ignited Wednesday afternoon in Woodland Park.

Firefighters responded shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday and had the blaze under control within about an hour.

There were no known injuries.

Woodland Park is a 64-acre public space and nature preserve. It’s bordered on the north by Middlesex Road and on the south by West Avenue.

A woman who lives on Belleval Street, which borders the park, said she and her husband saw a middle-school-aged boy in the park roughly 100 feet away from their house flicking matches in the woods.

The boy ran away when the woman’s husband asked what he was doing. As the fire started, the man tried following the boy in the direction of Oak Park Avenue, an adjacent residential street, before the boy disappeared into the park.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning this week for brush fires due to the dry weather.

Several fires have been reported across southwestern Connecticut in recent days.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has listed the forest fire threat as high.

DEEP announced that all open-burning permits have been suspended, even if a resident has a permit from the local official.

Residents are reminded to be cautious with outdoor cooking fires during the dry period.

“Residents need to know that any permit to burn brush is not valid when the forest fire danger is rated high, very high, or extreme,” DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen said. “Anyone spotting a forest fire should remain calm and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to the local fire department.”