Five fire departments, 10 apparatus, and about 40 firefighters battled a brush fire in the woods of Jefferson the afternoon of May 1 before finally stopping the spreading fire line, according to Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris.
The fire burned between six and seven acres on the west side of Bunker Hill Road (Route 213) near Forest Glen Road before the firefighters were able to extinguish the fire line, Morris said.
Morris said he received an initial call from Lincoln County Communication about a report of smoke seen on the Damariscotta Lake shoreline. No burn permits had been issued that day because there was a Class 3 fire danger rating and no permits are issued on weekdays until after 5 p.m., Morris said.
After a second report of smoke, the page to departments went out to Jefferson, Somerville, Whitefield, Waldoboro, and Nobleboro at about 1:10 p.m., Morris said.
Once on scene, Morris said he requested a helicopter from the Maine Forest Service but it was already in the air at a fire in Thorndike.
The blowing breeze helped the fire spread quickly, Morris said. “It was going good when we got here,” he said.
Morris sent one crew to the head of the fire, and once they had cut it off, teams were able to work in from the flanks and contain the blaze, he said.
Firefighters used trucks to fight the fire where there were accessible roads, but much of the fire had to be combated by units on foot using Indian tanks.
After two hours from the initial page for the departments, the firefighters had contained the fire and were “mopping up” and extinguishing hotspots inside the perimeter, Morris said.
As of about 3:20 p.m., Morris said he had no clues to the start of the fire but the Maine Forest Service would be conducting an investigation.
(Note: This story was corrected May 2 at 9:10 a.m. to accurately state Chief Morris requested a helicopter from the Maine Forest Service, not the Marden Warden Service as originally reported.)