Smoke from a brush fire fills the air above Great...

Smoke from a brush fire fills the air above Great Kills Park on Staten Island. (April 9, 2012) Credit: AP

More than 200 firefighters battled a large brush fire at the former Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island Monday.

The fire jumped across the West Shore Expressway, forcing its closure for a period. Major traffic problems also affected the Staten Island Expressway and side streets.

The smoke could be seen all over Staten Island and from eastern New Jersey. But there were no immediate reports of threats to homes or businesses.

Firefighters also tackled a separate brush fire on the borough's east shore, in the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Meanwhile in southern New Jersey, firefighters had contained roughly half a wind-whipped wildfire that engulfed hundreds of acres and was tentatively considered to be suspicious, officials said.

The fire broke out shortly before 1 a.m. in the towns of Tabernacle and Woodland, and by midmorning it had extended across 600 acres. State officials expected the fire to consume 1,000 acres before it was finished, but no injuries or property damage had been reported by late afternoon.

The blaze was being probed as suspicious mainly due to the remote area where it started and because possible natural ignition sources, such as lightning, had been ruled out, Division Fire Warden Greg McLaughlin said.

Firefighters planned to work overnight to put out the wildfire, McLaughlin said, focusing their efforts on containing the blaze and extinguishing trees or logs that may still be burning. Officials expected the wildfire would be fully contained by this morning and completely under control by week's end at the latest.

About 25 homes were considered threatened by the fire, and firefighters lit a backfire in an attempt to keep the blaze away, a fire official said.

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