Fire On Island In Pushaw Lake In Glenburn Burns 6 Acres Overnight
An overnight fire on a privately owned island off Pushaw Lake in Glenburn had firefighters busy for most of Monday night.
Glenburn Fire Chief Jordan McLaughlin said the Glenburn Fire Department got a call reporting a fire, Monday evening, from a homeowner who lives on Pushaw Lake. Members from the department launched their boats, and were guided with help from the Orono Police Department from across the lake.
Upon arrival, firefighters discovered half the island, almost six acres, was on fire, so they called for mutual aid from six neighboring towns. There was also a camper on fire at the scene, with propane tanks that were exploding.
McLaughlin said it was a strategically challenging fire to fight, because of the darkness on the lake, and the low water level. He said just navigating through the rocky lake made difficult, along with the multiple trips across the lake to bring supplies and crews to get the fight the fire. It took most of the night to get the blaze under control.
He said there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. McLaughlin said the cause of the fire was improper disposal of burning materials. He says the unusually dry conditions certainly played a part in this fire.
"The biggest thing right now is that there's no moisture in the soil, so even when we do get rain, it saturates quick and dries back up. So right now any of the dead timber or dead duff or overgrowth that's dead is prime for starting a big fire."
McLaughlin said another challenge to fighting fires at the moment is that a great deal of the personnel that battle these blazes are volunteers.
"For volunteer services, it takes us time to get set up. People work their normal jobs and you know, we're behind the eight ball, so to speak, out of the gate. So when fires typically double in size every few seconds, it doesn't take long for it to get grow to a big fire and endanger structures and lives before we can even get on scene. It makes it really challenging, with these conditions, just because of the fire growth and the rate of spread."
Firefighters were still on scene Tuesday morning, working to put out hot spots. The owners of the island had been notified of the fire.