Brush fires fanned by gusty winds have been raging throughout the New York tri-state area, with one blaze injuring firefighters and destroying buildings on a swath of Long Island. TODAY's Al Roker reports.
Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET: Dry and breezy conditions were fanning brush fires and wildfires up and down the East Coast -- including one on Long Island, N.Y., where firefighters on Tuesday reported progress against two blazes that had merged overnight.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated officials were "cautiously optimistic" that the brush fire was under control.
"We have prevented a significant disaster," added Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Still, the weather conditions were making for "red flag warnings" along the East Coast, NBC weather anchor Al Roker said on TODAY. Areas from Long Island to Florida and as far west as Kentucky were under the advisory, which reflects extremely dangerous fire conditions.
In Long Island's Suffolk County, a state of emergency was declared earlier Tuesday and mandatory evacuationsordered for an undetermined number of residents in Ridge and Manorville.
Three homes and a commercial building were destroyed in Manorville, and several other properties were damaged. One firefighter suffered burns when a vehicle was overcome by the fire.
Around 1,000 acres had burned in the county, Bellone said, noting this was the county's worst fire since 1995.
"Obviously, we had a very dry winter," Bellone said, referring to what led to the current dry conditions.
The red flag warning for Long Island was posted through 8 p.m. ET.
Other fires included one on New York City's Staten Island that burned 19 acres before being contained early Tuesday.
In New Jersey's Burlington County some 25 homes were threatened by a brush fire.
In Florida, 89 wildfires affecting nearly 16,000 acres were burning, according to the Florida Forest Service. That included 18 fires of more than 100 acres each, and one of over 11,000 acres in the Osceola National Forest near the Georgia border.
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