May 1, 2013

Firefighters still monitoring Lewiston brush fire

By David Hench
Staff Writer

Firefighters are still monitoring more than a half-dozen hot spots in a 32-acre area that burned Tuesday off College Street in Lewiston.

The fire broke out Tuesday afternoon and took several hours to bring under control.

"They're still working on it. It's still under control," said District Ranger Gregg Hesslein of the Maine Forest Service.

The forest service helicopter dropped about thirty 250-gallon buckets of water on the blaze Tuesday to slow its spread and knock down the flames so firefighters on the ground could attack it, he said.

The fire was burning in the cleared area along power lines, a popular route for off-road vehicles. Investigators suspect a spark from one of those may have ignited the fire.

"Typically we don't send helicopters to fight grass fires," Hesslein said. "If it's still smoldering, it's obviously burning in the ground."

Forest rangers also are on the scene of a woods fire in a remote area of Woodstock. The fire is not moving quickly, but because of difficult access, the forest service has dispatched a helicopter to help control it, Hesslein said.

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