Fire Danger Comes Early 

Some communities in Southern Maine got up to eight inches of rain over the weekend.Most of the state, though, avoided all that rain. Making the past month a dry one in most of Maine.The Maine Forest Service has raised the wildfire danger to “high” across parts of Penobscot, Washington, Hancock and Piscataquis counties.The reality of just how dry some areas are became apparent Monday, as several wild fires were reported.One sparked along the interstate and spread through Newburgh, Hampden and Carmel. Crews from those three towns along with the Hermon Fire Department responded to the grass fire.Jerry Parsons, a forest ranger, says the lack of precipitation has caused wild fire season to start early this year. He says fires like this one can be prevented and has this tip for folks: “Don’t burn, that’s the easy answer. Hold off until things green up. I know a lot of people pile up stuff in the yards, and they think, well spring is here we want to get rid of it, but even with a burning permit, it doesn’t take much for a fire to get going and out of control.”Parsons was at a similar fire in Hermon right before the one on the interstate broke out.The forest service reminds you that you need a burn permit for any burning. You should check with your local fire department or forestry office.