FIRE OFFICER CREDITS TOWN CREWS WITH QUICK RESPONSE TO BARTLETT FIRE

by Christian Mower on April 16, 2012

THE FIRE MANAGEMENT OFFICER FOR THE WHITE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST IS CREDITING VALLEY AREA FIRE CREWS FOR THEIR QUICK RESPONSE TO A FOREST FIRE IN BARTLETT SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

CHASE MARSHALL SAYS HE WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FIRE ABOUT 3 P.M. AND IT WAS GOING UP A MODERATE SLOPE AT THE BASE OF IRON MOUNTAIN.

WITH TEMPERATURES N THE 70s WITH LOW HUMIDITY AND ERRATIC WINDS GUSTING UP TO 15 MPH MARSHALL SAYS THE FIRE NATURALLY WANTED TO RUN UP SLOPE. HE UNDERSTANDS FIREFIGHTERS FROM BARTLETT, JACKSON AND NORTH CONWAY INITIALLY RESPONDED AND WERE AT LEAST ABLE TO CATCH IT WITH ABOUT 30 FIREFIGHTERS.

TWIN MOUNTAIN FIRE DEPARTMENT ALSO HELPED.

MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN FOREST SERVICE PERSONNEL JOINED THE EFFORT TO FIGHT THE FIRE THAT SPREAD TO ABOUT SIX AND A HALF ACRES, BURNING MOSTLY PRIVATELY OWNED LAND AND ABOUT 20 PERCENT FOREST LAND.

MARSHALL SAYS NO ONE WAS HURT AND HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS SOUTH AND EAST OF THE FIRE WERE NOT DAMAGED.

CONWAY AREA FIREFIGHTERS – INCLUDING RESPONDERS FROM DEPARTMENTS IN NORTH CONWAY, CONWAY, REDSTONE, CENTER CONWAY AND EAST CONWAY – RETURNED TO THE SCENE MONDAY TO JOIN NEARLY 20 FOREST SERVICE PERSONNEL AND A STATE WORKER IN MOPPING UP OPERATIONS.

THEY HAVE CHARGED FIRE HOSES AROUND THE ENTIRE PERIMETER OF THE FIRE. MARSHALL SAYS THE FIRE HAD THE POTENTIAL TO GROW RAPIDLY AND THE FIREFIGHTERS DID A FANTASTIC JOB.

MARSHALL SAYS THERE WAS NO LIGHTNING IN THE AREA SUNDAY, SO INVESTIGATORS ARE LOOKING INTO WHETHER THE FIRE WAS STARTED BY HUMANS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUED A SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT MONDAY FOR THE VALLEY AREA AND WESTERN MAINE WARNING OF HIGH FIRE DANGER DUE TO THE WARM TEMPERATURES, LOW HUMIDITY, GUSTY WINDS AND DRY GROUND COVER.