WILTON — An unpermitted brush fire, near 780 Orchard Drive, on Wednesday night burned about an acre of property, Fire Rescue Chief Sonny Dunham said Thursday.

Fire danger rated as high for most of Maine has prompted Franklin County fire officials to say there is no outside burning, including fire pits, until further notice, he said.

The unnamed person was burning brush without a permit about 50 to 60 feet behind a garage/barn-type structure, Dunham said.

Vitalized by the copious quantity of dead leaves, branches and saplings, the fire quickly spread into the woods. Passersby reported the blaze at about 7 p.m. from a distance away when they noticed the smoke.

Dunham said they had to search for the fire. When he arrived, he called the Wilton Police Department and a ranger from the Maine Forest Service to check it out.

Nearly 50 firefighters from Wilton, Jay, Farmington and East Dixfield battled the fire. Fire crews finished clearing any residual flames by about 9:30 p.m.

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