BUXTON — Firefighters battled a brush fire on Turkey Lane in Buxton today, a day when the National Weather Service issued its red flag warning indicating critical fire danger through 8 p.m.

The fire broke out near power lines on Turkey Lane at about 12:45 p.m. and crews worked quickly to bring it under control within 30 minutes.

Brush fires also were reported in the midcoast, downeast and western Maine.

Forest rangers say the early spring has exposed the small dry fuels that remain from last fall, which ignite easily.

“Everything is dry, brown and dead and just ready to burn,” said Kent Nelson, who heads up forest fire prevention efforts for the Maine Forest Service. “If you add a little wind to this situation and a spark, it’s going to go.”

“It’s just until we get some green up in the forest floor and some grasses start to green up,” he said.

“These fine fuels want to burn…You’re not going to have fires burning deep into the ground. They’re usually easy to extinguish. It’s just that they can run fast and move quick along the surface,” he said.

Dry conditions, winds gusting to 30 mph and relative humidity of 20 to 25 percent have created critical fire danger in southern Maine and New Hampshire, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

The fire danger climbs every spring, as the ground dries out before new growth, Nelson said, though this year that process may happen earlier.

Rain helps, but the fine fuels, less than one quarter inch in diameter, dry quickly, he said.

The warm weather can be a boon as it can stimulate quicker growth of new shoots, he said.