Police & Fire

Allagash firefighters, residents prevent fire from spreading to northern Maine woods

ALLAGASH, Maine — Volunteer firefighters with the Allagash Fire Department and some residents averted a potential wildfire on Saturday when strong winds overtook a campfire in the heavily wooded community.

An Allagash resident burning a small campfire alerted authorities when winds caused the fire to spread into a nearby woodpile at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“He had a little campfire going right next to a five cord pile of wood. He was burning a little bit of scrap wood in his campfire when ashes transferred to the woodpile,” said Allagash Fire Chief Mike Cushing.

As they waited for firefighters to arrive, a visiting camp owner and several local residents gathered buckets of water and a hose to try and douse the flames.

Eight volunteer firefighters who responded to the scene with three engines then deployed fire hoses and poured on about 1,500 gallons of water to eliminate the blaze.

“We had to break down the wood pile to get to the fire underneath,” Cushing said. “It burnt down the stack of wood and burrowed down into the bottom of the wood pile.”

Cushing said even the smallest of fires in Allagash are always a concern, as the town is surrounded by forest.

“The problem here in Allagash is with all the woodlands we have. The fire could have easily spread with today’s wind,” he said. “It was the winds today and the dry conditions we had that exacerbated the fire (in the first place).”

The firefighters were able to contain the fire to the woodpile, and nobody was injured.

The firefighters cleared the scene just before 6 p.m.

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