Nine surrounding towns responded to help bring the swift moving fire under control
SPRINGFIELD, VT - A three-alarm brush fire over the noon hour Tuesday in Hartness State Park charred hillsides above Summer and Dell Streets but did not end up doing any property damage.
“A lot of concerned citizens reported heavy smoke and when the first of our units arrived they requested extra help,” recalled Springfield Fire Chief Russ Thompson who was in charge of the incident.
Forestry and brush trucks responded from surrounding communities along with extra water tankers and manpower to find and fight the fire in steep and rugged terrain.
“At the time it was reported the wind was pushing it uphill strongly and it was also back-burning downwards to within about a hundred yards of residences,” the chief noted.
The woods, which are criss-crossed by popular hiking trails, are a mix of hardwoods and softwoods but Chief Thompson said with the current conditions out in the forest “This fire stayed within more of a surface burn. It’s a low level kind of fuel so this was more of a flash-type fire over a fuel source initially. A lot of the center area that was burned is just top burned leaves, etc.”
Within an hour-and-a-half both the left and right flanks were brought under control along with “four or five spot fires” that broke out off the left flank, the chief explained.
Springfield’s firefighters were joined at the scene by manpower and equipment from Ascutney, Chester, Bellows Falls, Proctorsville, West Weathersfield, Windsor, Reading, Rockingham, Westminster, Ludlow and Walpole, New Hampshire.
“We are pleased to be able to say that the guys are doing a great job,” Chief Thompson said. Most crews had made it off the hillside and were headed back to their stations by 3 p.m.
Springfield Police had to turn a school bus around and send it on a detour around the scene
Ludlow Firefighter Butch Higgins and Deputy Chief Ron Bixby keep watch over residences on Dell Street
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