Around 2:45 on Tuesday afternoon, a bird-watcher by the name of Rob Jett was happily... watching birds, I guess, when he saw three teens fleeing from a section of Prospect Park called Rocky Pass. The area suddenly became engulfed with smoke. Jett told local blog "A Walk in the Park": “I heard them laughing and running down the path towards the Nethermead Meadow. I [saw] smoke coming up from where they had just been.”
Jett was able to alert authorities, and within minutes workers from the Prospect Park Alliance arrived with shovels and rakes in an attempt to put out the blaze. The fire wasn't completely put out until the NYPD arrived and emptied 5 fire extinguishers.
Jett describes the response:
"Luckily, between landscape management workers creating a fire break and police officers with several small fire extinguishers, they were able to keep the fire from spreading through the entire woodlands at the Ravine. By the time FDNY arrived it was just smoldering with no open flames."
Located on the east side of the Long Meadow, Rocky Pass is a one of Brooklyn's only remaining natural forests and is home to 20 different species of bird, including the red-tailed hawk.
But the larger problem is that the area is an isolated location, making it a magnet for dumb ass teens to do stupid things, like set the park on the fire, or host large drinking parties.
Thus park goers and watch-dogs are concerned that there isn't enough funding marked for patrol and protection of the park. Geoffrey Croft of the New York City Park Advocates told the Brooklyn Paper: “People do dumb things because there’s nobody up there. We need more park rangers and better enforcement. There’s a lack of funds and accountability — this isn’t happening in Central Park.”