A red flag warning, signaling dangerous conditions for brush fires, was announced Thursday, on a day when many area fire departments responded t small fires that quickly got out of control.
Many local fire departments had to contend with brush fires on Thursday.
Conditions for brush fires were prime thanks to tinder-dry leaf litter, high winds and the recent stretch of warm, rain-free weather.
“Once the winds pick up and the material is so dry, it takes just a quick gust of wind and up a fire goes,” Kingston Fire Chief Robert Heath said. “A small ember can take down an entire forest.”
Firefighters from Abington and several surrounding towns spent more than six hours battling a brush fire on Rockland Street in Abington on Thursday. The fire eventually scorched more than six acres.
“We’ve had a pretty crazy three weeks,” Capt. Edward Belcher of the Abington Fire Department said. “We have had brush fires in Abington almost every day since things began drying out.”
Broad Meadow in Quincy, a marshy area known for brush fires, burned again on Thursday. Three engine companies responded to the call, extinguishing the fire in roughly 90 minutes.
The origin of the fire had not been determined as of Thursday evening, Quincy Deputy Fire Chief George McGunagle said.
In addition to assisting Abington firefighters, the Hanson Fire Department put out a brush fire near 302 South St.
The Hanson fire, which was reported at about 10 a.m., burned about an acre and damaged a camping trailer.
Heath, the Kingston chief, said brush fires can be caused by, among other things, lightning striking a dry area and the tossing of a lit cigarette from a car. Also, open burning for which a permit has been issued can get out of control, he said.
“Things are very busy in the spring, right when things begin to dry out until things begin to green up again,” Heath said.
Thanks to its brush-breaking equipment and well-trained personnel, the Kingston department is able to effectively deal with brush fires, the chief said.
The Patriot Ledger