The Maine Forest Service is looking for information from witnesses or passers-by that could help them determine the origin of a wildfire that burned for five hours last Tuesday near the Winslow-China municipal boundary.

The fire destroyed about 2 acres of marsh Aug. 9 near Mud Pond, and hot spots flared for several days afterward. While the fire and its hot spots are now fully extinguished, the investigation to find a clear cause is still ongoing.

Maine Forest Ranger Lisa Byers said investigators are fairly sure the fire was caused by a person. Officials from the Forest Service suspect that someone was trespassing on private property near Mud Pond and sparked the fire.

Winslow Fire Chief David LaFountain said last week the fire might have originated in a fire pit.

More than a dozen hot spots were left behind after the fire was put out at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 9. Hot spots occur when fire burns into the duff layer of soil. Too much sun can heat up the dirt, which runs the risk of reigniting the fire.

Firefighters and rangers dug out the hot spots with shovels to extract the burning materials and extinguish them before the rain this past weekend finished the job.

“The rain definitely helped soak down the area,” Byers said. “The rain just adds to the ability to say it’s extinguished and not just contained.”

The Forest Service asks that anyone who has any information about what happened in the area before the fire call Byers at 624-7076.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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