Crews work to contain large, smoky brush fire in Gloucester

Firefighters in Massachusetts are working to contain a large brush fire that is burning near residential neighborhoods in the Cape Ann region. Gloucester Fire Chief Eric Smith said the department first received reports of the two-alarm fire in the area of ​​Poles Hill and Riverview Road at about 10:45 am Monday. Sky5 saw flames and smoke as it flew over the fire, which was burning in a wooded, rocky area near Wheeler Street.Smith said it is the second fire in the area on consecutive days.”We’ve had repeated problems with folks up here having camp fires and, you know, drinking, partying, which often leads to this,” said Smith. “There’s really no source of ignition out in these woods because there’s not a lot out there other than people and that’s usually the source of the problem.” Smith said “almost all” of the Gloucester Fire Department has responded to the fire, along with several engine companies from neighboring communities.”Getting enough people here quickly enough is challenging,” said Smith. “Water supply out in the woods, obviously, doesn’t exist. So we’ve got to drag it all in on hose lines and this fire is far too intense and there’s far too much fuel load to go in with hand tools.” There have been no reported injuries and much of the fire was contained at about 3:45 pm, but crews continue to work on preventing flare ups from getting out of control due to the dry conditions.”That is really our focus: To keep this fire from getting to any structures or our homes,” he said. Crews stopped operations during the night due to the loss of light, but Smith said they plan on returning to the scene at first light Tuesday to resume operations.Smith said light smoke should be expected in the area over the next day or two while firefighters work to fully clear the scene. Anyone who sees heavy smoke or fire in the area, however, is being asked to call 911 to report it. Fire officials in the New Hampshire town of Hampton Falls, which is near the Massachusetts border, said the smoke from the large brush fire in Gloucester was blowing directly toward them on Monday.According to Thursday’s report from the US Drought Monitor, nearly 94% of Massachusetts is now in a moderate drought or worse. Almost 44% of the state is in a severe drought — including Cape Ann.

Firefighters in Massachusetts are working to contain a large brush fire that is burning near residential neighborhoods in the Cape Ann region.

Gloucester Fire Chief Eric Smith said the department first received reports of the two-alarm fire in the area of ​​Poles Hill and Riverview Road at about 10:45 am Monday.

Sky5 saw flames and smoke as it flew over the fire, which was burning in a wooded, rocky area near Wheeler Street.

Smith said it is the second fire in the area on consecutive days.

“We’ve had repeated problems with folks up here having camp fires and, you know, drinking, partying, which often leads to this,” said Smith. “There’s really no source of ignition out in these woods because there’s not a lot out there other than people and that’s usually the source of the problem.”

Smith said “almost all” of the Gloucester Fire Department has responded to the fire, along with several engine companies from neighboring communities.

“Getting enough people here quickly enough is challenging,” said Smith. “Water supply out in the woods, obviously, doesn’t exist. So we’ve got to drag it all in on hose lines and this fire is far too intense and there’s far too much fuel load to go in with hand tools.”

There have been no reported injuries and much of the fire was contained at about 3:45 pm, but crews continue to work on preventing flare ups from getting out of control due to the dry conditions.

“That is really our focus: To keep this fire from getting to any structures or our homes,” he said.

Crews stopped operations during the night due to the loss of light, but Smith said they plan on returning to the scene at first light Tuesday to resume operations.

Smith said light smoke should be expected in the area over the next day or two while firefighters work to fully clear the scene. Anyone who sees heavy smoke or fire in the area, however, is being asked to call 911 to report it.

Fire officials in the New Hampshire town of Hampton Falls, which is near the Massachusetts border, said the smoke from the large brush fire in Gloucester was blowing directly toward them on Monday.

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According to Thursday’s report from the US Drought Monitor, nearly 94% of Massachusetts is now in a moderate drought or worse. Almost 44% of the state is in a severe drought — including Cape Ann.

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