A fire burned an acre of brush yesterday evening at 996 River Road in Brunswick.

When Brunswick firefighters responded to the fire at 4:31 p.m., they realized that the blaze was larger than at first reported. The department called mutual aid for a tanker from Durham. They also notified the Maine Forest Service as well as a local ranger, who also responded to the scene. Firefighters fought the fire for an hour and a half before extinguishing the blaze.

The fire started when the owner of the property struck a rock with his lawnmower blade while mowing, according to Brunswick Fire Chief Ken Brillant.

“The stretch of dry weather which we are all enjoying provides breezy, windy afternoons and low relative humidity, which means that if a fire escapes, it will spread rapidly,” said Kent Nelson of the Maine Forest Service. “When we have these conditions in Maine, getting a burn permit to burn brush is tough.

“We recommend that people wait until later this weekend when the relative humidity is higher,” Nelson added. ” When you get more of that relative humidity in the air, the fire is not as likely to spread, and these daily fire danger ratings will probably come down to moderate, and then you could get a burn permit.”

Conditions have been ripe for brush fires across most of the state. According to the Maine Forest Service, on Tuesday, most of the state from — Kittery to Caribou — was listed as having a “high” risk of wildfire. Large swaths of western Maine along the New Hampshire and southern border with Quebec were listed as having a “very high” risk of wildfire. Only the most northwestern parts of the state — consisting of portions of western Aroostook, northern Piscataquis and northern Franklin counties were at “moderate” risk.


Also on Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Gray issued an alert warning of elevated fire weather danger for much of the state.

A mass of dry air, breezy winds and dead and dry fuel such as grass leaves and twigs have made conditions ripe for “the potential for uncontrolled fire spread across Maine and New Hampshire,” the weather service warned.

“Extra caution should be taken to prevent wildfires,” the weather service stated in its warning. “Always consult with fire officials before engaging in any open burning activities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Never leave an open fire unattended and always extinguish campfires completely before leaving.”

More information on the daily fire danger rating and favorable conditions to receive a burn permit is on the Maine Forest Service website at maine.gov/dacf/mfs/wildfire_danger_report/index.html

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