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Brush fires at New York City’s Central Park investigated as arson | New York

Several brush fires were set ablaze in New York’s world-famous Central Park on Tuesday afternoon and the authorities are examining whether arson was the cause.

Clouds of smoke were wafting over the park’s north woods area as the New York fire department worked to contain the flames.

Smoke over Central Park Tuesday.
Smoke over Central Park Tuesday. Photograph: Skye Clearly

The Central Park Conservancy, which oversees maintenance of the park, confirmed that the fires had been contained by mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

An automated tweet from the New York fire department confirmed that the fire was under control around 3pm local time. No injuries have been reported.

Images posted to social media and the Citizen crime app show clusters of smoke clouds drifting over the north edge of the park, which contains mostly woods and pedestrian and cyclist paths and is popular with birdwatchers.

Police are looking into whether the fires are connected to a small fire that was started in the park early on Tuesday morning, anonymous police sources told NBC New York, and are searching for a suspect.

The police told the local news site Patch they were seeking a man who was wearing green pants and a black jacket and hooded shirt that witnesses say was starting the fire on the north-west edge of the park. Police have yet to release any official details to the public.

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