[Updates Below] Fresh Kills, A.K.A. the former Staten Island Dump, is on fire! The FDNY is currently fighting a raging brush fire right off the West Shore Expressway (it just became a two-alarm fire). According to an FDNY spokesman "we're there and in the process of trying to get it under control." Not helping things? Today's very strong wind.

Smoke from the fire has made visibility on the West Shore Expressway incredibly bad (as you can see in the above photo!) and it can apparently be seen at the Staten Island Mall (which makes sense as it is across the street). So drive safely!

As for what caused the fire, that is still unclear. We blame the coyote who recently took up residence nearby! Sadly, brush fires are not that uncommon on the Island.

Update: At 1:07 p.m. it was upgraded to a four-alarm fire.

Update 2: As 1:15 p.m. the West Shore Expressway has been closed to traffic due to the lack of visibility. But here's some video from just before they closed it—that's a fire!

Update 3: According to the FDNY the fire went five-alarm at 2:30 p.m. The winds in particular are making it hard to control. "Four hours into the operation we've got 200 firefighters there," we're told. Westbound and southbound traffic on the Expressway has been closed intermittently with heavy speed restrictions due to smoke-related visibility issues.

Update 4: As of 5:33 p.m. the fire in the former dump is still going strong—thanks to the warm, dry weather and strong winds. Commuters to the Island should expect long delays.