LEWISTON – Fighting wildland fires is not something the Lewiston Fire Department does on a regular basis. However, when there is a fire at the 312-acre Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary on Montello Street or other rural areas of the city, they need to get into the woods in a hurry.

Traditionally the firefighters have hauled heavy regular hoses and equipment into remotes areas to fight the fires. But now, due to an environmental grant from the Auburn Wal-Mart Superstore, responding to rural fires will be easier and more efficient.

The Stanton Bird Club received the grant to purchase special lightweight hoses, nozzles and backpacks to haul the hoses.

The new equipment will be loaded onto Engine 4 at the Sabattus Street Station because firefighters at that station are the first responders to fires at Thorncrag.

The bird club is a conservation organization offering monthly natural history programs and field trips throughout the state free. The club welcomes new members whose dues help to provide land stewardship at three sanctuaries owned and managed by the club in Lewiston and Monmouth. For more information, call 782-5238 or visit www.stantonbirdclub.org

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