Large brush fire put out along I-80/94 in Gary, Indiana, sheriff says

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- A large brush fire that burned along both sides of Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana Wednesday afternoon has been put out.

The Lake County Sheriff's Department evacuated the area near 25th Avenue and Clark Road. No injuries were reported, and everyone was allowed to return home Wednesday evening.

Chopper7 was over the scene around 3 p.m. Wednesday, where the Lake County Sheriff's helicopter was seen flying through thick smoke to dump water on the flames. The Lake County Sheriff said the Gary Fire Department was unable to reach the fire due to the terrain.

"Our Aviation Unit crew had the training and expertise necessary to successfully bring water and release it at the scene while hovering over the area in dense smoke and strong winds," Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said in an email. "Our crew dropped 34 loads of water totaling some 7,140 gallons."

ABC7 meteorologist Larry Mowry said wind gusts of over 30 mph have been reported in the area and relative humidity is in the 30% range, which is dry.

The area also has not seen substantial rain in over a week and much of the vegetation has died and dried out, Mowry said.

Indiana State Police restricted traffic flow through the area due to poor visibility.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.