BANGOR — A Maine judge has approved a $12,000 fine for a railroad in connection with hundreds of track-side fires over three years.

The Bangor Daily News says Pan Am Railways parent company pleaded no contest earlier this month to three civil violations that it failed to maintain a railroad right of way.

The Maine Forest Service says that from 2004 through 2008 there were 213 fires along tracks attributed to debris, such as brush, grass and dead vegetation. Of those, 177 were beside tracks owned by Pan Am.

The forest service says Pan Am operates 564.6 miles of track or 34 percent of Maine’s rail lines.

State law requires railroads to keep rights of way clear of flammable material.