GEORGETOWN — Acting Chief Chuck Savage reports that the Georgetown Fire Department, the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and mutual aid partners have contained 100 percent of a fire in the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest that has been burning since Thursday.
On Monday, Aug. 22, about 5 p.m., the fire was fully contained for the first time due to extensive work, including efforts that lasted throughout Monday to soak the perimeter of the fire.
The approximately 11-acre fire is now contained, but it is still not fully extinguished due to drought conditions that have left the forest floor extremely dry, and which enabled the fire to burn down deeply. Firefighters returned to the area on Tuesday to manage remaining hot spots.
“The rain that fell on Monday was helpful, but we will need far more significant amounts of rain to completely extinguish the burn area,” said Acting Chief Savage. “We continue to ask community members to stay out of the state forest in the area of the fire near Trails 19 and 30, as the area is dangerous due to hot spots and the risk of falling trees which have had root damage.”
Crews have been battling the blaze since Thursday, when it was first reported by the Massachusetts State Police Airwing, which was flying over the area and spotted smoke. Firefighters have been returning to the area since Thursday to continue battling the blaze, with support from numerous mutual aid agencies.
On Monday and Tuesday, Georgetown Firefighters were assisted by mutual aid from the Rowley, Groveland, Boxford, Newbury, and West Newbury Fire Departments, as well as the Department of Conservation and Recreation and Conservation’s Bureau of Forest Fire Control, which sent crews from Bristol County and Barnstable County.
Drought conditions throughout the region have left brush and wooded areas extremely dry and prone to fire. Drought conditions have also created conditions in which fires can burn more deeply into the ground, making overhauling burned areas and preventing flareups that are far more labor intensive.
Georgetown crews will continue to return to the area as new areas flare up. If you notice active fire in the area, please call 911.