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Steuben wildfire consumes 7 acres of forest

Courtesy of Maine Forest Service
Courtesy of Maine Forest Service
Ranger Ben Goodwin fights a fire Wednesday, July 11, 2012, on 7 acres of forest in Steuben.
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

STEUBEN, Maine — State forest rangers and local firefighters have contained a stubborn wildfire off Unionville Road to 7 acres, an official from the Maine Forest Service said Wednesday night.

More than a dozen people fought the fire throughout the day and are expected to remain at the scene well into the night, Maine Forest Service Lt. Jeff Currier said. He said a trained crew from the Down East Correctional Facility in Bucks Harbor will be brought to the scene Thursday morning to finish the job.

“They are a very helpful resource for us,” he said, adding that the inmates will take the place of some of those who spent all day Wednesday battling the blaze.

Currier said that the fire has been a tricky one to fight because it is in an area that is relatively difficult to access. Firefighters had to cross several stream to get to it, he said, adding that a forest service helicopter from Old Town was brought to Steuben to drop water from above.

Also making for tough going is that the area recently underwent timber harvesting so there was a great deal of fuel, including downed trees, on the ground.

Currier said the fire is believed to be the result of human activity but is not considered suspicious.

Though Maine is not in the midst of a drought, Currier said there hasn’t been a significant amount of rain for more than a week.

“If we go for approximately 10 to 14 days without significant rainfall in Maine, we are going to have forest fires,” he said.

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