AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Over 80 firefighters from several communities worked to control a fire at Bondi’s Island in Agawam that continues to spread heavy smoke across the region Thursday night.
Agawam Police Department said firefighters were called to the site for a “significant fire in the landfill at Bondi’s Island,” around 2 p.m. Our 22News crew found that the fire appears to be in a large pile of brush or mulch.
The heavy smoke is visible in the area and is being blown down further out due to the windy weather. A large plume of smoke can be seen from across the Connecticut River in downtown Springfield.
Agawam Fire Chief Alan Sirois said the facility has many large trees and yard waste stored in piles, and that’s where the smoke is coming from. West Springfield and Agawam crews dealt with a water supply issue since there are no fire hydrants in that area. Sirois added that the high wind conditions and trees fueled the fire as well, making it harder to extinguish.
“We’ve been dealing with a lot of short-falls in terms of water supply, those have been overcome, the volume of fire has been significantly knocked down and I can say at this point that the fire has been contained,” said Chief Sirois.
The West Springfield Fire Department at 7 p.m. said crews were still on the island with many other departments including a state hazmat team. At 11 p.m., crews were still on-site, and the hazmat team was assessing the air quality as a precaution, although they do not expect an air quality issue.
Fire officials said this could last for several days. Residents in West Springfield and surrounding towns and cities are being advised to close their windows to avoid the heavy smoke from entering their homes.
Sirois added that there is still a large amount of fuel burning at the top of the island. In order for it to fully extinguish, large equipment is needed to take the piles apart. But for safety reasons, this cannot be started until Friday.
Fire departments on the island assisting with the fire include West Springfield, Wilbraham, Holyoke, Chesterfield, and Westhampton.
The source of the fire is still being investigated. A Department of Fire Services spokesman told 22News a rehab team was sent to assist first responders with the fire but have not been asked to conduct an investigation into the cause at this time.
TRAFFIC ALERT FROM POLICE: