Flames imperil wolf dogs in N.H.

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CHATHAM, N.H. – More than 100 dogs were in peril late Wednesday night after a fallen power line ignited a field and started a brush fire.

A man at Fred Keating Farm on Robbins Hill Road said several fire departments were battling the blaze at about 10:15 p.m.

The farm is a refuge for wolf dogs, he said, and the animals were kept in pens over a 25-acre area. Roughly a half hour after the fire was reported, the wind was pushing the flames in the opposite direction.

“Right now there’s no threat to the animals,” the man said. “But we’re worried that the wind might shift.”

The flames were still a quarter mile away from the farm at 278 Robbins Hill Road, he said. Fire crews battling the blaze were struggling against whipping winds as they sought to keep the flames from reaching the refuge.

The man at Fred Keating Farm said fire crews were aware of the dogs on the property and that they appeared to be getting the fire under control late Wednesday night. He said there was little alternative but to wait and hope the winds would not blow flames toward the dogs. “I can’t just let them go,” he said.

In New Hampshire, as well as other parts of New England, dry conditions coupled with erratic, sustained winds created fire hazards across the region.

More than 40 acres burned in brush fires Tuesday in the towns of Fitzwilliams, Alton, Webster and Lee.

In Maine on Wednesday, similar fires burned more than 50 acres in a series of blazes in at least a half dozen towns.

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