NEW GLOUCESTER – A brush fire that burned more than 10 acres Tuesday afternoon may have been caused by a spark from a passing train, according to Fire Chief Toby Martin.

Martin said he reported the fire about 12:37 p.m. after seeing smoke rising near Intervale Road.

The location “was a blessing for us because it was in a marsh area,” he said.

Multiple agencies responded, including Maine Forest Service rangers, who sent a strike team and a helicopter to drop water.

“It started in a small wooded patch of land, then it went into the marsh,” Martin said. “The marsh slowed down the fire considerably. We were also fortunate that the fields were still wet, which helped us a little bit. If we had drier conditions with the same amount of wind, we could’ve had something much worse.”

Martin said it’s common for sparks from passing trains to start fires.

“We have a lot of dead fuel and brush in Maine, so I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often,” he added.

A Maine Forest Service helicopter dumps water on a large brush fire off Intervale Road in New Gloucester on Tuesday afternoon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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