Firefighters, rangers squash underground fire near Rangeley

Posted Sept. 23, 2013, at 12:54 p.m.

SEVEN PONDS TOWNSHIP, Maine — Firefighters from several towns and forest rangers fought a woods fire Saturday on Cow Ridge, north of Rangeley in Franklin County.

The fire is believed to have started by a lightning strike about a week ago and traveled underground along the roots, Rangeley Fire Rescue Chief Tim Pellerin said Monday.

The Maine Forest Service received information about the fire on Friday.

It was decided that crews would go up early Saturday and start working on it, he said.

An ATV road had to be cut to reach the fire on the ridge, he said.

Firefighters and rangers used portables pumps and hoses, hand tools and chainsaws to get at the underground fire, Pellerin said.

About a half-acre burned, he said.

It is tedious, long and painstaking work to put out an underground fire, he said.

Firefighters worked nearly 12 hours on the fire.

Crews from Rangeley, Eustis, New Vineyard, Phillips, Strong and Maine Forest Service responded.

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