CFD extinguishes fire on mountainside
Camden — About a dozen firefighters from Camden Fire Department worked to extinguish a fire on the side of Mount Battie the afternoon of Tuesday, July 31. The fire was reported by multiple callers, said Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley.
Farley said the fire was initially reported after being spotted from Camden Public Landing and Wayfarer Marine. Equipped with back pumps — commonly known as Indian Tanks — crews climbed Mount Battie from the trail head on Megunticook Street. Farley said they worked for about four hours to extinguish the blaze. He said about 1/10 of an acre was burned.
The blaze was ignited by a campfire that was not properly extinguished Farley said. He said the campsite was in a portion of Camden Hills State Park where camping — and fires — are prohibited. Multiple discarded beer cans were visible around the area of the burn, he said. Furthermore the fire was started in an unsafe manner, on bare, open ground without the containment of a fire pit. Farley said dry conditions allowed the fire to burn into the ground requiring firefighters to lay 900 feet of hose down the side of the mountain to ensure the burned area was adequately soaked with water.
"It's the same message Smokey the Bear has been giving for years," Farley said. "Make sure your campfire is out, drown it with water."
Despite the steady rain that fell across the Midcoast region late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, Farley said Maine Forest Service still has the Camden area classified at level 2 for fire danger. He said typically after a rainfall an area will return to a level 1 — or low risk — classification, but remaining at level 2 is a further indication of how dry the area has been in recent weeks.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org