A Maine Forest Service helicopter fills a bucket from a pond on West Street as firefighters battle a brush fire in Biddeford on Monday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Driven by high winds and dry conditions, more than a dozen wildfires broke out in Maine on Monday.

Forest rangers responded to at least 14 brush fires in locations including Limerick, Biddeford, Casco, Camden, Bucksport, Hampden and Milbridge. All of the fires began in the afternoon, with the largest reported in Biddeford.

The Biddeford fire, reported around 3 p.m., burned about 20 acres near Granite and West streets, and crews had to bring a Maine Forest Service helicopter in to help fight the fire.

Biddeford Fire Capt. Peter Anton said it took about three hours for 50 firefighters from Biddeford and neighboring departments to bring the fire under control.

“It was in a very remote location and was hard to get to,” said Anton, who added that no homes, businesses or structures were threatened.

The Maine Forest Service reminded anyone that open burning permits obtained online have been put on hold until the fire danger returns to moderate or low. The fire danger on Monday for all of western, southern and coastal Maine was high.

The National Weather Service in Gray had warned that there could be an increased risk of fires due to a combination of low relative humidity, warm temperatures and winds between 15 and 20 mph. Very dry conditions are expected again on Tuesday and the fire danger will remain elevated.


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