ATKINSON, Maine — A Buck Road resident who lost control of an unpermitted grass and brush fire not only lost a shed and the thousands of dollars’ worth of belongings inside, he also was issued a summons.
The property owner’s name was withheld Friday night. Lt. Jeffrey Currier of the Maine Forest Service said the name will be released after the summons he was given is signed into court Monday.
According to state Forest Ranger Doug Huettner, the man was burning grass and brush around 7 p.m., when he lost control of the fire, which quickly spread to dry brush and then ignited a 20-by-20-foot shed containing nearly $3,000 worth of personal items.
The Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department quickly knocked down the fire, containing it to the shed and a half-acre of property.
Because the homeowner had not obtained an open burning permit before starting the fire, Huettner summoned him for the Class E misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and reimbursement of the costs related to suppressing the fire.
This fire was one of nearly two dozen reported across Maine on Friday, keeping forest rangers, ranger pilots and local fire crews busy through the day, Currier said.
Rangers also dealt with numerous open burning complaints, ranging from people burning without permits, failing to extinguish fires and burning prohibited materials. To date, Currier said, rangers and municipal fire departments have fought nearly 150 wildfires statewide this year.
“We encourage Mainers to be careful with any outdoor fires,” Currier said. “We urge them to get a permit from local fire officials and to follow the conditions on the permit. Failing to do so can be embarrassing, costly and even tragic.”