VASSALBORO — A woods fire that burned from Tuesday afternoon through the night into Wednesday was caused by sparks from logging equipment, according to fire officials.

The fire started around noon Tuesday near a log yard off Gray Road when sparks flew off a chain saw on a skidder, Maine Forest Ranger Dan Skillin said. Fire spread out to about 2 acres in the woods, he said Wednesday.

Fire from logging equipment “is probably not real, real common, but the problem is everything is so dry now,” Skillin said. “Everything out there was just powder dry.”

The fire was discovered when a logger went back into the area around noon. The logger usually went home after lunch but decided to go back to the woods, Skillin said.

“It had the potential to be a much bigger fire,” he said.

Firefighters from Vassalboro, Winslow and South China all responded, as well as the Maine Forestry Service and Maine State Police. Firefighters kept working until dark, then made a line around the fire with water and ditches. They alternated a two-man patrol throughout the night to make sure the contained fire did not spread, he said.

The fire was in an area that was difficult to reach, Skillin said, because it was steep in some areas and rocky. Emergency responders used all-terrain vehicles and carried some equipment on their backs.

At 6 a.m. Wednesday, the emergency responders went back to Vassalboro and fought the rest of the fire until 10 a.m. The Vassalboro Fire Department was continuing to monitor the area to be certain it is extinguished.

While Skillin said he hopes there aren’t any hot spots, he said he doubts there aren’t any. Hot spots occur when fire burns into the duff layer of soil. Too much sun can heat up the dirt and possibly reignite the fire.

Skillin said the financial effect is probably minimal, and that the logger didn’t lose any equipment in the fire.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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