FARMINGTON — A permitted brush fire at 128 Davis Rd. created high flames and much smoke before fire fighters arrived Wednesday.

The Rev. Lloyd Leeman applied for and received a burn permit from Farmington Fire and Rescue online early Wednesday morning, Leeman said at the scene. 

Neighbor Steve Cutler was helping Leeman burn a pile of pine trees behind their homes. Leeman said he had the trees cut last fall but could not find someone to take care of them.

When he got the online permit, the weather was fine but then the wind came up, Leeman said.

“The wind was okay and it was even raining when we started,” Cutler said.

The fire grew quickly with flames reaching about 10-15 feet, he added. The men were trying to control it with garden hoses so it would not spread in to a strand of nearby trees.

Members of Farmington Fire and Rescue responded when someone called 911 about a bonfire with high flames around 10 a.m. Capt. Michael Bell said.

“There was a lot of smoke and flames, maybe up to 10-feet it’s hard to judge, when fire fighters arrived,” he said.

They had plenty of water but the location behind the homes was difficult, he said about controlling the burn.

Mutual aid from Chesterville, New Sharon and Temple was called in to help the fire fighters dig their way through the burned pile of brush and stumps.

“We have to paw through it,” Bell said. “It is so dry it goes down in to the dirt.”

They needed to flatten down the pile of brush, branches and stumps to ensure the fire was out underneath the pile. 

“With a limited number of available fire fighters during the day, the mutual aid gave us more manpower and the department was able to leave the scene before noon,” said Bell.

A fire permit means the fire has to be under your control but the weather was different when Leeman got his permit, Bell said.

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