The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 16, 2008

Brush fire scorches Great Brook trail

Mother’s Day celebrations were interrupted last Sunday afternoon when the Carlisle Fire Department rushed to a brush fire at Great Brook Farm State Park. About a mile into the woods on the Woodchuck Trail, an area about 100 by 60 feet was actively burning. The trail is a popular but rugged bicycle and hiking path, crossing over streams and leading to a high open meadow nearby where the fire was located. Flames could be seen at times climbing up trees on either side of the trail.

Though a full-size fire truck responded, the trail was too narrow to reach the fire. “We sent our brush truck, our tanker and service truck as well as six firefighters and an officer,” said Carlisle Fire Chief David Flannery, contacted later.

The fire was called in by a hiker, explained Carlisle Police Sargent Thomas Whelan, who was directing traffic at the scene. Dimitri Ivanov, a Chelmsford resident who lives near the fire, said his wife Nancy saw the smoke and called the Chelmsford fire department. “The fire was in fact in Chelmsford,” explained Flannery, “in an area called the Thanksgiving Forest Line.” Carlisle’s Fire Department was called in by the state officials at the park. “I don’t know how it was started,” Flannery said. Only a light breeze was blowing, which helped keep the fire from spreading.

The fire was at the top of a steep hill, which led down to a small stream next to a large wooden bridge. “It was challenging to reach,” said Flannery. “We used our tank water and then our portable pump and hose to establish a water supply from a nearby natural source. The Chelmsford firefighters were already at the scene when we arrived as well as two State forest firefighters,” he added. There were no injuries. The Chelmsford Fire Department is investigating. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito