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Rangers ready for wildfire season

Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT
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WASHBURN, Maine (WAGM) -

Learning the skills needed to fight a forest fire is an ongoing endeavor for members of the Maine Forest Service.

Forest Ranger Carson Hartman says the Forest Service currently has had an engine and crew in West Virginia for the past couple weeks. He says the crew is helping with prescribed burns and honing skills they’ll need here in Maine, in the event of a forest fire.

“I’m gonna be replacing them this Saturday. It’s a good experience for myself and the firefighters we bring out. You know, it gets us out there helping others when they need help, and at the same time it gives us experience that we can bring back to Maine and - and use here in our state of Maine as well, so it’s a good opportunity. Last year we had a very busy summer. it’s one of the biggest summers we’ve had with the Maine Forest Service. So we had 1,154 fires last year that burned almost 1.100 acres. That’s statewide,” says Carson Hartman, a Forest Ranger with the Maine Forest Service.

The two biggest fires in Aroostook County last year were a 250-acre fire in Island Falls and another in the North Maine Woods that burned about 100 acres. Hartman says ongoing training between states better prepares rangers to respond to emergencies in their own states.

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