GARDINER — The cause of a fire that burned more than 3 acres Monday in South Gardiner is undetermined.

Gardiner Fire Chief Al Nelson said an investigation Tuesday did not point to a specific cause.

“There was nothing obvious, no cigarette butt or anything,” he said.

Although there is no way to tell for certain, it’s possible the fire was started by an all-terrain vehicle.

“There’s a power line close to there, and it’s a wood lot,” he said. “That’s a reasonable guess.”

The fire was first reported about 3:30 p.m., and it was under control by about 6 p.m. About 75 firefighters from Gardiner, West Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph, Farmingdale, Richmond, Litchfield, Chelsea, Augusta and Manchester responded, as did the Maine Forest Service, which dropped four 240-gallon buckets of water on the fire.

“We needed brush units,” he said.

Gardiner doesn’t have any of the four-wheel-drive, high clearance vehicles and relied on those from surrounding towns.

“We needed to get access to where the fire was,” he said.

The property, owned by Debbie McGee, was some distance away from where Maine Drilling and Blasting and Drilling and Blasting Specialists store their explosives, Nelson said, but he dispatched crews to both locations as a precaution.


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