Brush fires burned in several towns across the state Friday as officials continued to warn of dry conditions.

In Old Orchard Beach, a brush fire that began raging out of control at about 3 p.m. brought firefighters from several nearby towns. Nearby homes were evacuated. The fire still was burning into late afternoon.

Smaller fires were reported throughout the day in numerous towns, including Greene, Poland, Bridgton, Sabattus and Litchfield.

In Sabattus at noon, crews responded to the intersection of Middle and Jordan Bridge roads where a 100-foot patch of grass was burning. Fire officials said the blaze appeared to have been caused by discarded smoking materials.

In Poland, a brush fire was reported to be out of control along Bragdon Hill Road just before 2 p.m. Crews responded and subdued the flames.

In Greene, a field was reported to be on fire along South River Road just before 5 p.m.

In Bridgton at about 1 p.m., firefighters went to Hancock Drive, near Chadbourne Hill Road, for a field fire that was said to be out of control. The fire was contained within an hour.

Earlier this week, the National Weather Service had issued a fire warning for Friday because of dry conditions, gusting winds and low humidity across the region. A fire watch was also put into effect for Saturday.

“Things can dry out quickly this time of year, when the solar radiation is strong, the relative humidity is low and there is a little wind,” the National Weather Service reported on its Facebook page. “And there is not much in the way of vegetation to help retain moisture.”

By 5 p.m. Friday, the blaze in Old Orchard had reached seven alarms. The Maine Forest Service was on the scene with a helicopter to help battle the flames.


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