A forest ranger operating a helicopter and a few local fire departments helped knock down a blaze in the woods off Overlook Drive in Hallowell on Friday afternoon.

The fire started in the woods and came within 30 feet of a home at 50 Overlook Drive, said James Owens, chief of the Hallowell Fire Department.

But after the fire was reported at 1:45 p.m., firefighters were able to extinguish it before it reached the residence. They were aided by a ranger from the Maine Forest Service who used a helicopter to retrieve water from the Kennebec River, according to witnesses.

“He started to dump water on the fire before we did,” Owens said. “I think he made three passes with the water bucket.”

Owens did not know how the fire started and said a ranger would be investigating its causes on Saturday. The owners of the nearby home were away on a camping trip at the time of the blaze, which was mostly concentrated in the grass, he added.

Firefighters came to the scene from Hallowell, Augusta and Manchester, Owens said. Using hoses, rakes and axes, they were able to knock down the blaze in about 20 minutes. The fire was about 50 feet from the road.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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