Spate of grass, wildfires keep Maine forest rangers busy on Easter

A fire damaged the siding of a trailer as well as an outbuilding and its contents on Pond Road in Bradford about 1 p.m. Sunday.
Courtesy of Maine Forest Service
A fire damaged the siding of a trailer as well as an outbuilding and its contents on Pond Road in Bradford about 1 p.m. Sunday.
Posted April 20, 2014, at 6:13 p.m.

Maine’s forest rangers were kept busy around the state Sunday working with local firefighters to put out grass and wildfires.

As of 5:30 p.m. Easter Sunday, 15 fires had been reported statewide, Jeff Currier, regional forest ranger with the Maine Forest Service, said. His territory includes Washington, Hancock, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.

“These fires tend to be fast moving because the materials they feed on are dead grass and brush,” Currier said. “There’s not a lot of timber damage with these kinds of conditions.”

The service issued a warning Friday that the danger level was high for an area along the coast from Kittery to Belfast and inland to Greenville and Fryeburg.

The most serious fire appeared to be at a trailer on Pond Road in Bradford about 1 p.m., where the siding was damaged and an outbuilding and its contents were seriously damaged, Forest Ranger Investigator Gary Cook said Sunday.

“An ember from a cooking and warming fire in an outdoor fireplace escaped and caught the grass on fire,” he said. “There was extensive melting of the siding on one side of the trailer.”

About two hours later, rangers were called to Puddleduck Road in Charleston for a grassfire that was contained after burning about a quarter of an acre, Cook said. That fire was ignited by a cigarette that was not properly extinguished.

Forest rangers also responded Sunday to fires in Knox, Winslow, Standish, Milbridge, East Machias, Alfred, Waterboro and Surry, according to information released on the department’s official Twitter feed.

 

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