Firefighters from several area towns work Wednesday afternoon with Auburn firefighters to battle a wind-whipped woods fire off Perkins Ridge Road in Auburn. The cause was still being investigated Wednesday night, but fire officials said one theory is that trees came down on power lines in heavy winds and that sparks ignited the dry brush. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

AUBURN — Fire crews from several towns battled a brush fire off Perkins Ridge Road on Wednesday afternoon, contending with whipping winds that drove the fast-moving flames.

The blaze was reported about noon in the area of 411 Perkins Ridge Road, not far from the Taylor Pond Yacht Club.

The first crews to arrive reported heavy smoke and fire that extended into the surrounding woods. Auburn firefighters called for help from several other departments, including Poland, Mechanic Falls, Turner, Greene, Oxford, New Gloucester and Lewiston.

Auburn also requested a helicopter from the Maine Forest Service to attack the flames. Auburn Public Works sent an excavator and extra manpower, fire officials said.

Since there are no hydrants in the area, fire crews battled the flames mainly with tankers which they were able to drive down Yacht Club Road and F Street, on either side of the fire, according to Auburn Fire Battalion Chief Dean Milligan.

No injuries were reported and the fire was brought under control roughly an hour after crews arrived.

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The cause was still being investigated Wednesday night, but fire officials said one theory is that trees came down on power lines in heavy winds and that sparks ignited the dry brush.

About 3:50 p.m., Auburn fire crews were called back to the area for a report that flames had reignited in a different spot near 411 Perkins Ridge Road. It was believed that the earlier fire may have continued to move underground after the initial flames were doused.

Smoke fills woods Wednesday afternoon off Perkins Ridge Road in Auburn. Firefighters from several area towns work with Auburn firefighters to extinguish the flames. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

A Lewiston engine crew was sent to assist with the second fire, which was snuffed out in about an hour.

By 7 p.m. Wednesday, Maine Forest Service workers remained at the scene. Fire officials said high winds and persisting dry conditions have contributed to several smaller fires over the recent week, including several mulch fires.

No rain was in the forecast for the next few days.

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