Fire burns 1.5 shorefront acres

BAR HARBOR — No one was injured and no buildings were damaged by a fire that burned 1.5 acres of forest on a Northwest Cove shorefront property Thursday afternoon.

The fire was reported just after 2 p.m. at the 10-acre property on Town Landing Road. Firefighters from all four Mount Desert Island town departments responded to the fire, which they worried could spread quickly on the windy afternoon.

When crews arrived, an area of forest was already burning. The fire spread down a hill toward the shore.

The Maine Forest Service sent a crew from Hancock and a helicopter from Old Town. The helicopter dropped water on a large propane tank in the middle of the burning area, Bar Harbor Fire Chief Matt Bartlett said, which had begun to produce flames.

“That helped keep the tank cool until we could get our plan ready,” he said.

Firefighters ran hoses from a tanker on Indian Point Road and shuttled water from a dry hydrant on nearby Prays Brook.

“That was a great thing,” Bartlett said, “we never ran out of water.” The fire was contained by 4 p.m., and crews worked until after 5 p.m. to make sure no hot spots remained.

It remains unclear how or exactly where the fire started.

Forest fires usually spread in predictable patterns, said John Cousins of the Maine Forest Service. But “the burn pattern got broken up by the green grass,” shifting wind and other variables, he said. “This one’s got me scratching my head.”

Forest service crews cut down some dead trees the upper branches of which were burning or smoldering to aid in putting the fire out completely.

Firefighters noticed a couple of niggling hot spots during a Friday morning check-in, but Bartlett said that they posed no threat to restarting the blaze.

“We just raked them out and put some water down,” he said.

The property is owned by the estate of the late Marion “Kippy” Stroud, according to town documents. The county registry of deeds shows a number of documents under Stroud’s name that have Ann T. Loftus, Mark Rosenthal, Kelly Mitchell and Marvin Smucker — represented by Philadelphia law firm Ballard Spahr LLP — listed as the “domiciliary foreign personal representatives” of her estate.

Samuel Shepherd contributed to this report.

Updated on June 6, 3:19 p.m.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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