Officials investigate Bradford brush fire, determining possible charges

Forest rangers and firefighters work the edge of a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday. A farmer who had a permit started the fire but it got out of control when winds picked up.
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Forest rangers and firefighters work the edge of a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday. A farmer who had a permit started the fire but it got out of control when winds picked up.
By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff
Posted April 30, 2013, at 10:55 a.m.

BRADFORD, Maine — Investigators are speaking to witnesses to determine if charges will be filed in relation to a brush fire that scorched seven acres in Bradford on Monday.

Jerry Parsons of the Maine Forest Service said Tuesday morning it could take up to a week to determine if the property owner who controlled the burn will face civil charges.

“We interviewed a number of witnesses [Monday],” Parsons said.

The state fire marshal’s office will not get involved in the investigation, which the Maine Forest Service will handle, Parsons explained.

Dry and windy conditions turned the controlled burn off Station Road into a brush fire that drew firefighters from seven towns and a Maine Forest Service helicopter.

The Bradford property owner, whose name Parsons did not release, did posses a burn permit, but the permit indicated the man should not burn in windy conditions.

First responders at the scene Monday indicated winds blowing at 8-10 mph were too gusty for a safe fire given the dry conditions.

Parsons said it will be be determined whether or not charges will be filed after all witnesses are interviewed thoroughly.

“I’ve got a pretty good idea on what transpired,” he said.

Monday’s incident was the latest in a series of brush fires around the state. A woods fire burned 1 ½ acres in Topsham on Sunday.

For tips about protecting your property from fire, visit the Maine Forest Service website at http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/04/30/news/penobscot/officials-investigate-bradford-brush-fire-determining-possible-charges/ printed on July 25, 2014