Firefighters battle forest fires amid high temps

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The stumps smolder in Coplin Plantation on Monday, June 7. (Eustis Fire Department photo)

EUSTIS – The week began on a hot note for fire departments in northern Franklin County.

Around 4 p.m. on Monday, June 7, the Eustis Fire Department responded to a call in Coplin Plantation for stumps smoldering; on arrival they found that the wind was fanning flames, with the fire starting to spread into the woods. The Maine Forest Service responded and Rangeley Fire was called for additional manpower and water. Despite the hot weather and temperatures close to 90 degrees, the fire was safely knocked down.

Shortly after 6 p.m., Kingfield Fire responded to a remote call on the side of Ira Mountain at the scene of a logging operation, according to Fire Chief Fred Nichols.

The fire was initially reported by an individual flying an airplane over the area; with the help of the pilot and community members, the department was able to locate the fire. Because of the remote location, some of the crews had to hike a half mile in with their full gear and water packs.

Mutual aid fire departments from New Portland and Strong responded, and the Maine Forest Service assisted with a helicopter, performing multiple water drops on the fire. In addition, several locals assisted with support and transportation for the firefighters.

Forest fighting operations continued Tuesday as lingering hot spots required attention.

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