LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — A 72-year-old man was charged Saturday afternoon with burning without a permit when he inadvertently started a wildfire, a Maine Forest Service ranger said in a news report.
If convicted, Manley Abbott of Strickland Loop Road faces a fine of up to $500, plus possible court-ordered suppression costs, forest ranger Jeff Currier said.
The fire destroyed a shed, all of its contents, a pile of old tires and about an acre of vegetation, Currier said.
At about 1:30 p.m., Abbott called for help, reporting a wildfire that was threatening a shed. Firefighters from the Livermore Falls Fire Department and the Maine Forest Service went to the scene.
On arrival, the shed was fully engulfed in flames, along with a pile of tires and about an acre of grass and brush, ranger Tom Lillis said.
Lillis said Abbott told him that before getting a permit, he had allegedly set a test burn to gauge how the fire would burn, but it quickly grew out of control.
Lillis said Abbott tried unsuccessfully to douse the flames using a bucket of water.
No other buildings were threatened and the firefighters quickly brought the wildfire under control, Lillis said.
With Maine’s fire danger listed as “high,” this wildfire was one of several reported across the state, i ncluding one in Sangerville that threatened a home, Currier said.
“During periods of elevated fire danger, like today, we urge the public to exercise extreme caution when burning, and always get a burning permit,” Lillis said.