A brush fire in Marlborough sends smoke through the West Metropolitan area
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation and fire crews from many surrounding communities assisted the Marlborough Fire Department, LaCroix said. He said a perimeter has been established around the fire and there is no current risk to homes or other structures.
Much of the Metro West area was under a haze of smoke on Saturday as the fire spread. Several police and fire departments in nearby towns, including TidyBoxborough, Sudbury, and even 10 miles away in Natick — received calls throughout the day from residents worried about the smoke but unaware of the brush fire.
I’m currently getting dozens of calls about a state of smoke all over town. NFD has confirmed that there is no fire at Natick. This is a residual smoke condition from a large brush fire in a nearby community.
— Natick Police (@NATICKPOLICE) August 20, 2022
It was a similar scene on the North Shore on Saturday, where wildfires continued to burn in Lynn and Saugus, forcing the closure of Lynn Woods and Breakheart reservations.
Lynn Fire Companies were shooting in the woods Saturday after the blaze burned at the west end of Gannon Golf Course overnight, the Lynn Fire Department said in a Facebook post. The blaze was centered in an area between Cooke and Dungeon Roads and the Stone Tower, with fire crews stretching “thousands of feet of fire hose” to reach those areas, the department said.
“Drought continues to allow these fires to burn,” the department said in the post. “Firefighters dig 7″ to 10″ and still find the ground extremely hot and dry as powder. Trees that are burnt to the bottom continue to be a concern and we are monitoring them as many have fallen.
Saugus firefighters could not be reached for comment on the Breakheart Reservation night fire. The property is managed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation warned people of smoky conditions in Lynn, Saugus and Marlborough in a tweet posted on Saturday afternoon. The agency also renewed its appeal to residents and visitors to be careful when using grills, campfires or anything else that could start a wildfire.
@MassDCR asks everyone to exercise caution in the Lynn, Marlborough and Saugus areas due to increased smoke from active wildfires. Please also take extra precautions when using grills, campfires, and other open flames, as dry conditions continue to persist throughout Massachusetts.
– MassDCR (@MassDCR) August 20, 2022
In Rockport, a wildfire that has been burning since July was deemed contained Friday by the city’s wildfire ranger and chief forester for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. A bulletin on the city’s website says there is a sufficient buffer zone around the perimeter of the containment area where the fire will continue to burn and cause smoky conditions. Local crews will monitor the containment area daily going forward, the city said.
Governor Charlie Baker activated 30 members of the National Guard on Thursday to help local responders battle the Rockport Fire, which was burning in the Woodland Acres and Briarwood Road area. National Guard members spent two days at the scene to help deal with surges and build the “cold zone” along the perimeter of the containment area, the city said.
Forecasters aren’t expecting significant rainfall that will impact the drought conditions felt in eastern Massachusetts, but there is a window of precipitation expected from Monday night through Tuesday that could help put out those blazes from forest, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson in Norton.
“I wouldn’t call it a soak, but it might be enough to wet surface soils,” Simpson said Saturday night. “There is a potential of half an inch or more. It won’t do much for the drought, but as far as the fire issues go, it will kind of help there.
The next chance will be Thursday night through Friday, Simpson said, but it’s “probably random showers.”
The rainfall would be a relief in Marlborough, where fire crews faced the challenge of carrying water to the area where the fire is burning. LaCroix, the battalion commander, said crews trucked water to the scene, which is about a mile away in the woods. Fortunately, a water supply was established Saturday with about 2,500 feet of fire hose connected to a fire hydrant on Turner Ridge Road, he said.
“We’re going to try to add to that and get to a better place where we don’t have to truck back so much,” he said.