HARTFORD — The Maine Forest Service is investigating a wildfire that burned 33 acres in Hartford Saturday afternoon.

According to a press release issued Sunday by the Maine Forest Service, reports of the Oxford County wildfire came in Saturday around 1 p.m. The fire was discovered by hunters off Route 219 in Hartford.

Firefighters from Turner, Leeds and Buckfield responded to the fire with Maine Forest Service resources and contained the blaze shortly before sunset. A Maine Forest Service helicopter was on standby for the fire, but was not utilized.

The blaze was discovered by hunters, who reported it to the regional dispatch center at the same time as forest ranger Art Lavoie, who was patrolling the neighboring community of Turner and noticed the smoke as well. According to the press release, the area off Route 219 where the wildfire occurred has few roads and rough terrain.

The blazed burned in a mixed-wood stand of forest and brush, according to the press release. No structures were immediately threatened by the wildfire, and no firefighters were injured during the effort to bring it under control.

Lavoie is investigating the cause and origin of the fire. As of now, the blaze has been classified as one caused by some human element.

“While it is possible that the fire was an accident, it is also possible that it was intentionally set,” Lavoie said in the press release.

The Forest Service asks that anyone with information about the fire call the Maine Wildfire Arson Hotline at 1-800-987-0257. All calls to the arson hotline are kept in strict confidence, and callers providing information leading to an arrest or conviction are eligible for a reward.

The Maine Forest Service and firefighters remained on scene early Sunday morning, extinguishing hotspots and continuing with the fire investigation.


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