Firefighters contain large brush fire in state park in Portland - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Firefighters contain large brush fire in state park in Portland

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Firefighters were able contain a large brush fire in state park in Portland. (Viewer Photo Submission) Firefighters were able contain a large brush fire in state park in Portland. (Viewer Photo Submission)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

After hours of battling a large brush fire, firefighters were able to get the blaze at Meshomasic State Forest under control on Sunday.

A large brush fire spanning at least 25 acres in the Meshomasic State Forest near Del Reeves and North Mulford roads. Massive plumes of smoke spewing were spewing above the state park.

Portland Fire Chief Bob Shea told Eyewitness News that the fire encompassed between 15 and 18 acres of brush.

The call came in around 6 p.m. and Portland firefighters battled the blaze for hours. The Portland Fire Department requested mutual aid to the scene.

The firefighters were able to contain the fire around 10 p.m.

About 30 men and women dealt with the flames initially. They used backpacks filled with water, but most of the work involved using chainsaws to clear the area and brooms to try and cover the fire with dirt and debris.

The blaze is about half a mile from Stare Forest Road through terrain, so steep it took fire fighters 15 minutes on all-terrain vehicles to reach it.  Dealing with flames in a dark wooded area is dangerous, so firefighters took several precautions. 

They all worked in groups of at least four and the teams all set up near huge lights, so they could see what they were doing.  The path up to the fire was also lit up with smaller lights and even glow sticks. 

Now that the fire is mostly contained a smaller team of deep fire fighters are monitoring the fire and continuing to suppress it.

Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials have warned residents to proceed with extra caution in backyard or barbecue fires as the air and vegetation is “tinder dry.”

According to the Daily Forest Fire Danger Report listed on the DEEP website, the danger level was “high” on Sunday. That warning mandates residents to obtain a permit from the local open burning official. However, the permit is not valid when the danger level is rated high.

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