While over 100 firefighters from throughout the Boston area battled a huge six-alarm blaze in Chelsea Wednesday, a 60-acre wildfire spread across three towns in southern Maine, and a number of smaller fires broke out throughout the region.
The wildfire in Kennebunk, Sanford, and Wells was about 50 percent contained as of around 9 p.m. Wednesday night, the Maine Forest Rangers said on Twitter. The cause remained under investigation.
More than 100 firefighters from 13 departments were battling the fire in the woods between Route 99 and Route 109, said Sanford Fire Department Lt. Greg Jones.
“I saw it on my way in from home, and I live 13 or 14 miles north of here,” Jones said. “It was looming over the horizon . . . I can’t remember a time we’ve had a brush fire with this acreage in my career.”
The Sanford Fire Department responded to the fire shortly before 5 p.m., he said.
Jones said he suspected that the warm weather played a factor. Sanford hit a high of 93 degrees Wednesday, he said.
“When you get that hot sun just baking the ground, it dries out all the grasses,” Jones said, making it easier for a fire to start. The fire also spread at a surprisingly quick pace, indicating that wind gusts were also a factor, he said.
Jones said that fire would still be burning through the night. There were no reports of injuries or damage to homes, he said.
“I’m going to expect that we’ll be there throughout the day tomorrow as well,” he said.
Local departments in Massachusetts dealt with several smaller fires Wednesday afternoon and evening.
In Duxbury, a grill apparently malfunctioned in a backyard, sparking a fire that left a home with several thousand dollars of damage, Fire Captain John Guilderson said.
Firefighters responded to the home on Bayridge Lane around 5:45 p.m. to find that the flames from the grill were shooting into the air above the first floor of the home, Guilderson said.
The fire extended to the exterior of the back of the house before firefighters knocked it down, he said.
“As the weather gets good we do get our share of grill fires, so we always recommend they don’t keep it too close to the house,” Guilderson said, who said the grill was about 5 feet from the home.
He recommended that homeowners keep their grills about 10 to 15 feet away from their houses.
In Quincy, a fire did minor damage to the back of a house on Bay State Road around 6 p.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Gary Smyth.
Investigators believe the fire may have started when someone improperly tossed a cigarette, striking the corner of the house, Smyth said.
He described the damage as “nothing that can’t be repaired.”
In Tyngsborough, firefighters spent about half an hour battling a brush fire in a homeowner’s backyard, according to Deputy Fire Chief Pat Sands.
The man lit a small campfire, but the wind carried it to the tree line, setting brush on fire and sending the fire department to the home on Glendale Avenue around 7 p.m., Sands said.
The fire did not result in any property damage, he said.Jacob Carozza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.