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East Coast wildfires whipped up by winds

East Coast wildfires whipped up by winds


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Raging wildfires fueled by strong winds scorched thousands of acres (hundreds of hectares) in New Jersey and on New York's Long Island on Tuesday as firefighters scrambled aircraft to contain the blazes.

A snowless winter and dry spring have transformed the New York City metropolitan area into a tinderbox, with recent strong winds fanning the flames, authorities said.

Wildfires were also reported in several states along the eastern seaboard.

On eastern Long Island, where New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency, three sections within a 2,000-acre (809 hectare) area were burning. But a fire was extinguished on the grounds of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, a nuclear physics facility about 70 miles of New York City, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told a news conference.

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