KEARNY — A fire in an old landfill may have been sparked by lightning during Wednesday night's thunderstorms.

Kearny Fire Chief Steve Dyl said 20 tarps being used to cap the 1D Landfill on Bergen Avenue in Kearny caught fire just before 9 p.m. A cause of what Dyl called a "significant fire in a remote area" remained under investigation.

"There was a pretty nasty storm moving through at the time," Dyl told New Jersey 101.5.

Flames and black smoke rising from the fire at the could be seen from the Turnpike, Route 280, Newark and Manhattan.

It took firefighters just over an hour to put out the fire despite a problem with the water supply and the heat.

"The heat really takes its toll on the men. It's more strenuous, you have to be a little more careful trying to rotate the crews. We do our best to keep them hydrated. They did a great job, " Dyl said.

None of the firefighters were injured.

The 1D Landfill is a 94-acre facility owned by the town of Kearny. It was closed by the DEP in 1982 after it was determined it had reached its capacity and the leaching system was not properly maintained. A plan was implemented in 2010 to cap the landfill.

"The landfill has not accepted solid waste in over 40 years but it was never properly closed with a gas collection system and impermeable cap over the surface. That's what the state is doing now," Mayor Alberto Santos said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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