Old coals ignite Sumner fire

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SUMNER – Bill Savage thought three-day old coals would not be a problem when he dumped them over a hill near his cabin on Fields Hill Road.

He was wrong.

The wind Friday afternoon quickly caused the coals to ignite, and with no water at the cabin and no phone, he had to drive several miles to call in the fire.

Savage had been cooking maple syrup earlier in the week and had returned to do more processing when he emptied the coals.

Sumner firefighters found they needed more people and also more water, so Buckfield was called in to bring a tanker. Fire was quickly spreading up to Fields Hill Road, which is near Labrador Pond.

Forest Ranger Brad Bucknell, who happened to be in the neighborhood, was soon helping firefighters, who were working with picks and rakes to extinguish the flames. Fortunately the wind was blowing in the opposite direction from Savage’s cabin, which was not damaged.

The fire was brought under control in about 90 minutes.

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