Unattended camp fire could be cause of large brush fire in Portl - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Unattended camp fire could be cause of large brush fire in Portland

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An Unattended camp fire could be the cause of large brush fire at a state park in Portland. (WFSB) An Unattended camp fire could be the cause of large brush fire at a state park in Portland. (WFSB)
PORTLAND,CT (WFSB) -

About 15 acres of state forest burned on Sunday afternoon and state environmental officials said this brush fire could have been prevented. 

According to a fire control officer, this Portland fire that began burning around 4 p.m. at Meshomasic State Forest.

A state official told Eyewitness News it was likely caused by an unattended camp fire.

Aerial footage from Sunday showed the sheer size of the massive fire as smoke rose above the forest.  

A Department of Energy and Environmental Protection crew returned to the site on Monday morning for cleanup.

“Basically mopping up making sure nothing's burning,” DEEP Maintainer Mark Blazejak said.  

There were no injuries as the fire burned in a part of the forest that is far from homes.

"This time of year, nothing has started to green up yet, so everything is crinkly, crispy and dry and ready to burn," Blazejak said.  

Given the dry weather, fire control officers urged people to refrain from burning brush or leaving anything capable of sparking up unattended.

"Even just now a car came by and there's someone smoking in the car and that one small cigarette could start something out here once again with no problem," Blazejak said.  

Janet Nocek said she often hikes through Meshomasic State Forest and hopes there is no damage to the state park. 

"I'm very concerned and I'm hoping it didn't affect the trails that people have been working on," Nocek said.

According to DEEP, there were brush fires in Tunxis State Park and Chaplin on Sunday as well as numerous smaller fires reported to local departments elsewhere throughout the state.

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