Brush fire burns 7 acres in Bradford; fire danger statewide is high

Posted April 29, 2013, at 11:22 a.m.
A helicopter drops water on the edge of a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday.
A helicopter drops water on the edge of a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday.
A helicopter drops water on the edge of a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday. The fire was started by a farmer with a permit but got out of control when winds picked up. Numerous departments responded and are on scene at this time putting out hot spots in the woods.
A helicopter drops water on the edge of a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday. The fire was started by a farmer with a permit but got out of control when winds picked up. Numerous departments responded and are on scene at this time putting out hot spots in the woods.
Forest rangers and firefighters walk through a section of woods looking for hot spots after gaining control over a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday.
Forest rangers and firefighters walk through a section of woods looking for hot spots after gaining control over a 7-acre grass and woodlands fire in Bradford on Monday.
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
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

BRADFORD, Maine — Dry conditions and a steady wind turned a controlled burn into a fire that consumed approximately 7 acres of grass, brush and woods near Station Road on Monday morning, requiring firefighters from seven towns to douse the flames, officials said.

Jerry Parsons of the Maine Forest Service said firefighters from Kenduskeag, Corinth, Bradford, Glenburn, Charleston, Hudson and LaGrange went to the fire, along with a Maine Forest Service helicopter that dumped water on the flames. No injuries were reported and the fire was brought under control before noon.

It was the latest in a series of similar fires around the state, which is becoming increasingly dry. A woods fire burned about 1 1/2 acres in Topsham on Sunday. Parsons said brush and woods fires can be problematic in the spring if there is little rain. He said fire danger statewide is listed as high.

Parsons said the Bradford property owner, who had a burn permit, could face charges stemming from the incident. Parsons said the man’s permit indicated he should not proceed with the burn in windy conditions. First responders on the scene said the wind was blowing 8-10 mph, too high for a safe fire given the dry conditions.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 10 a.m., and Parsons said the helicopter crew and swift response from the fire departments kept the blaze from spreading. Officials managed to get the fire under control by 11:30 a.m., according to Parsons.

“There were some other houses on the South Tasker Road that could’ve been threatened if the fire had gone further,” Parsons said.

“It’s always the spring of the year we have a lot of problems because people don’t think,” he said.

Fires like Monday’s are preventable, Parsons said.

“Always burn with a permit, follow the criteria to the letter and read the permit,” he said.

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

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