Permitted Burn Gets Out of Control in Bradford 

Think before you burn, that’s what forest rangers are hoping people will start doing. Wildland fire danger is extremely high in our state right now. Monday morning a permitted burn got out of control in Bradford. It’s not an uncommon site this time of year. ” We’ve got a 7 acre fire that burned in the grass, brush, and mature trees,” explained Forest Ranger Jerry Parsons. Conditions in Maine are perfect right now for wildfires. ” It’s drier than what people realize,” said Parsons. A permit was issued to a farmer for this burn, but rangers say he didn’t follow the rules, like not burning when it’s windy. ” The first response unit on scene said the wind was blowing 8 to 10 miles per hour, so obviously it was windy,” said Parsons. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from reaching a nearby farm, but they needed some help from the forest service helicopter. ” Once they realized they had an area they couldn’t get to readily with ground forces, they called it in,” said Parsons. Wild fires are something firefighters train for, but it doesn’t make them easy to deal with. ” We actually just finished up a wildland forestry class, wildland fire class, the weekend before last,” explained Dusty Kelley, chief of the Bradford Fire Department. ” Trying to keep the guys hydrated. Working hard with hand tools digging out the fire.” Rangers say the ideal time to burn is after 5pm. ” It’s when the winds die down, it’s the cooler part of the day,” said Parsons. It’s also important to have water nearby, and make sure you follow the criteria on the permit. If the man who was burning in Bradford is found guilty of failure to follow criteria on the burn permit, he could have to pay up to $25,000. It could be even more than that if officials decide to charge him for use of the Maine Forest Service helicopter.