Fire season is just starting, but Maine Forest Service rangers already have endured the second-highest fire count in a decade.

The rangers have so far responded to 663 fires statewide that consumed more than 847 acres, said Jim Britt, a spokesman for the Maine Forest Service. The number of wildfires caused by campfires has increased 170 percent compared to the same period in 2019, Britt said.

A suspect has been charged with setting one of those fires. A 28-year-old male whose name was not available Monday was charged with illegal disposal of lighted material that ignited the Island Falls wildfire that consumed almost 240 acres in Island Falls in northern Maine in May. The cost of fighting the fire exceeded $100,000.

Record dry weather in much of Maine has made for prime fire conditions.

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