WISCASSET, Maine — A permitted burn at 195 Foye St. in Wiscasset on Sunday grew into an out-of-control brush fire in a matter of seconds, officials said.
Wiscasset, Dresden, Alna, Westport Island, Edgecomb and Woolwich fire departments were paged to the scene at approximately 3:20 p.m. to fight the fire that broke out on the heavily wooded lot.
The flames were substantial at first and spread rapidly from the burn site, Nick Merry, Wiscasset’s assistant fire chief, said.
Figuring out how to get water to the area was initially challenging, Merry said. The lot is set back from the road on a long, unpaved driveway. The area where the fire originated was set back from the driveway and the flames spread downhill into a thick area of woods.
Through use of long hoses, the trucks were able to knock down the flames in approximately 15 to 20 minutes, Merry said. Once additional aid arrived, firefighters attacked the remaining hotspots with portable water tanks, rakes and shovels.
More than a dozen firefighters from six different departments responded to the call. “It was a great response and a great turnout,” Merry said. “People left their families on Mother’s Day to be here.”
According to Merry, May 10 was only a Class 2 day and the burn was permitted. However, due to the series of red flag days in Lincoln County in the past week, the conditions were still dry.
According to property owner Gary King, the brush burned so hot, so fast, the fire grew out of control in just seconds. “The response was great,” King said. “They had it under in control in no time. They saved the woods.”
The Wiscasset Police Department directed traffic on Foye Road, which was reduced to a single lane as firefighters contained the situation. Wiscasset EMS also responded. There were no injuries as a result of the fire.
The Maine Forest Service issued a warning calling for caution with outdoor fires, and recommended delaying burning brush or having outdoor campfires until the area receives a significant amount of rainfall.
The Maine Forest Service encourages the public to visit its website and sign up to receive the predicted class day via email or text message.