Bremen firefighters unload a portable pump from Fire Chief Fern Poland’s boat, placed alongside the ledges as they prepare to battle a woods fire Sept. 9. (Photo courtesy Bremen Fire Department)
Bremen firefighters and rescue personnel responded to a call of smoke on the town-owned Crotch Islands, just after 9 a.m. Sept. 9.
For the second time in five days Bremen firefighters returned to town-owned Crotch Islands, Sept. 9 where embers had smoldered below ground for several days, despite the department’s best efforts against a fire on the island last Thursday. (Photo courtesy Bremen Fire Department)
Bremen Fire Department Captain Bruce Poland, who was hauling lobsters nearby, first spotted the smoke on the northwest side of the island and called out the department. Later, he coordinated the team’s efforts on shore – which included portable pumps, hand tools, and a hefty dose of sea water.
Bremen Fire Chief Fern Poland was also hauling in the area, used his boat to shuttle the crew from the Bremen Lobster Coop dock to the northernmost of these two small islands that are connected by a sandbar at low tide. The islands are located to the east of Hog Island, and to the south of Crow (aka Mouse) Island in Muscongus Bay.
This is the second time in five days the Bremen Fire Department has responded to this scene, having fought a large ground fire here Sept. 4 – with an area of almost 500 square feet actively burning when they arrived. It appeared that a carelessly tended campfire at an unimproved site was the original source.
Conditions on the islands are very dry, and since the soil is mostly made up of duff and spruce litter, sparks are able to smolder undetected for several days.
(Submitted by Eric Duffy, for the Bremen Volunteer Fire Department.)