Dartmouth sees pair of brush fires as drought conditions continue

Aug 13, 2022

Dartmouth saw two brush fires break out last weekend, Aug. 6 and 7, as drought conditions peaked in the region.

The first of the two incidents occurred on Old Fall River Road on Saturday when a caller reportedly struck a rock while mowing a field, creating a spark that set it ablaze.

“By the time she noticed it, it was too big for her to handle,” said Deputy Theodore Borges of Fire District 3.

Borges added that the fire reached a size of about 100’x100’, which he called “not too substantial.”

He said that the fire took about 90 minutes to fully extinguish, with most of the time being spent wetting down the ground to prevent the fire from rekindling later on.

The following day, on the other side of town, a fire broke out in a secluded area in Fire District 2, which covers the southwest region of the town, creating dual problems for firefighters there.

“Normally brush fires just burn the surface but this one was burning down into the ground,” said District 2 Fire Chief Greg Edgcomb, explaining that the extremely dry soil allowed the fire to move underground.

He said the fire took three hours to deal with because firefighters had to make their own road to access it and dig out the whole area to make sure it was under control.

Edgcomb recommended that residents be extremely careful with fires while the drought continues.

“I wouldn’t be having a lot of campfires or cook fires right now,” he said. “The tiniest spark will set it off.”

Dartmouth is currently under a very high fire risk, according to a sign at Fire District 2.