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Brush fire consumes 10 acres at North Stonington camp

By Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published April 25. 2014 3:29PM   Updated April 25. 2014 6:05PM

North Stonington — Fire crews contained, but had not totally extinguished, a brush fire Friday that consumed more than 10 acres of woodland on private land bordering Pachaug State Forest.

The fire burned underbrush, woody debris and dead or dying hemlock on property that is part of the 260-acre Camp Wightman.

Camp Director Tom Hall, who thanked firefighters for their daylong efforts, said the fire did not directly impact the camp because it was contained to a remote part of the property, between a ridge and Billings Lake. There was never any threat to people staying at the camp or primary buildings on the property, he said.

With the North Stonington Fire Department taking the lead, numerous volunteer crews from surrounding towns such as Voluntown and Griswold were called in to help shuttle water and stretch hoses into the woods.

Forest fires are manpower-intensive because of the amount of walking in rough terrain, according to Chris Martin, director of the forestry division of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Martin said along with dragging hoses into the woods, firefighters worked to remove vegetation to keep the fire within a contained area. One part of the fire was allowed to burn into a swamp and snuff itself out, he said.

Martin expected rotating crews of firefighters to continue to monitor the fire throughout Friday night and into the weekend. Rain is expected to start early today and would help alleviate concerns about the fire reigniting.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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