May 26, 2019
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Wildfire in Washington County sparked by campfire

TOWNSHIP 6 ND, Maine — A wildfire on an island in West Grand Lake was caused by someone who left a campfire and failed to extinguish it completely, the Maine Forest Service reported Tuesday.

“The wind picked up and pushed the fire out of the ring” and into the adjacent area, said Sgt. Peter Pelletier.

Forest service personnel were still on the scene Tuesday morning, mopping up.

Conditions have been “fairly dry,” noted Pelletier, and the fire burned deep underground. “It takes an extensive mop-up to clean them up,” he said. The mop-up operations should be completed by midday, he indicated.

The fire is still under investigation, said Pelletier.

A group of forest rangers and members of the Grand Lake Stream Fire Department took a boat over to the tiny island and had the fire contained Monday night. The fire destroyed a small ice fishing shanty and burned about one-tenth of an acre.

The unnamed island — only about a half-acre — is located south of Birch Island.


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