St. John Valley

Firefighters stop potential St. Francis forest fire in its tracks

ST. FRANCIS, Maine — Local volunteer firefighters and Maine Forest Service combined efforts to halt a potential forest fire in St. Francis on Monday evening. 

“There was potential there for a large-scale forest fire,” said Maine Forest Ranger Lance Martin, who serves the Allagash district.

Firefighters from St. Francis Fire Department, Fort Kent Fire Department and Maine Forest Service thwarted the fire that began at around 8 p.m. and burned more than an acre of land on the back settlement in the town. 

Allagash Fire Department was also on scene prepared to help fight the fire if needed.

The firefighters created a fire line around the fire to prevent it from spreading further into the woods, said St. Francis Fire Deputy Chief and Fort Kent Fire Captain Cole Pelletier. 

“It eliminates all vegetation and creates a sort of perimeter around the fire,” Pelletier said. “Then, the fire essentially is allowed to burn within that perimeter.”

Martin said preliminary investigation shows the fire likely originated from a log pile with some biomass in the back and worked its way to a log loader crane parked in the area. 

The loader crane, owned by Jim Desjardins of Wallagrass, had not been in operation for four days and did not contribute to the fire, Martin said.

The machine was a total loss, but nobody was injured as a result of the fire.

“I would love to thank the local fire departments for putting in a really strong effort; they did a wonderful job,” Martin said.  

Maine Forest Service continues to investigate the cause of the fire. 



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