Brush Fires Pop Up in Mass. | NECN

Brush Fires Pop Up in Mass.



    Mass. officials are busy tracking and, more importantly, preventing them (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    (NECN: Josh Brogadir, Natick, Mass.) - Sticks, branches and leaves are exactly what fire officials are worried about.

    It's what they call fine fuels, and when you combine them with the dry conditions, lack of snow pack and winds, it's just what is needed to get a brush fire going.

    It's just District Warden Tom Muise and his binoculars high up in his perch 70 feet above Nobscot Hill in Framingham. Muise is looking for wisps of smoke rising over the tree line.

    It's brush fire season in Massachusetts - and this year it came a month and a half early.

    DCR Chief Forest Fire Warden Dave Celino says it all started in January with the lack of snow pack.

    Much of it has been exacerbated by the remains of the events of the recent past - ice storm, tornadoes, the damaging Halloween snow and winds.

    Sixty-five feet up, what you feel is the wind, and what you see are the incredible views - 360 degrees in all directions. However, what isn't seen much green on the trees, and experts say that is a problem.

    On Wednesday alone - firefighters had their work cut out for them, battling flames along 495 in Taunton, with smoke rising in Bridgewater and a fire on 10 acres in Falmouth along Hayway Road, not far from homes.

    And then, while we were up in the tower, overhear on the scanner and spotted from above by Tom Muise was a fire in Natick.

    This is what it looks like on the ground - turns out an eighth of an acre was left charred on Coolidge Hill - a very minor burn to a 12-year-old who tried to put it out - and fortunately no homes affected.

    Department of Conservation and Recreation officials say many of these are permit fires, that don't get fully extinguished.

    They are especially worried about Friday - with the temperature expected to hover around 90 - and the winds picking up.