Brush Fire Breaks Out Between Milestone And Old South Roads

Jason Graziadei and David Creed •

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Photo by Sara Szogas

A brush fire between Milestone and Old South roads sent flames shooting 50 feet into the air Tuesday night before the Nantucket Fire Department was able to locate and extinguish the blaze deep in the woods east of the Wannacomet Water Company.

The flames were spotted by motorists and others from both Milestone Road and Old South Road, and firefighters initially had difficulty determining the precise location and how best to access it with equipment and water.

"We could see it from the station, there was a big glow in the sky," fire chief Michael Cranson told the Current. "It looked like the back of the water department property and in between Old South and Milestone, so we had to do some hunting."

After first attempting to reach the brush fire from Old South Road, firefighters found success reaching the blaze down a small dirt way off Milestone Road, and managed to squeeze several pieces of equipment - including a tanker with 2,000 gallons of water - through the path. The fire was located on Nantucket Land Bank property, and firefighters found about two to three acres of the woods burning.

"Initially the flames were pretty big, it had got up into the tree tops," Cranson said. "But our on-duty captain's shift did a good job of knocking it down so it didn't spread...These fires are labor intensive. We had to break out the chain saws and the brooms, and you're fighting Mother Nature while you're out there."

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The approximate location of the fire.

The Nantucket Fire Department reported over radio communications that cooking equipment was found at the scene and that they would be taking photos of the evidence. As of Tuesday night, however, the cause of the fire was unknown.

"We did find evidence of someone cooking food, a couple of pots with food in it, but I really couldn't say definitively if that was the cause of the fire," Cranson said. "At this point, it's under investigation."

Following the initial report around 8:45 p.m., it was nearly two hours before firefighters ultimately cleared the area around 10:40 p.m.

Cranson added that the lack of wind and the recent rainy weather that removed Nantucket from state-designated drought status helped to prevent the fire from growing larger.

This is a developing story, we will update it as more information becomes available. 

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