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Large brush fire sparks in woodland area spanning Loudon, Canterbury

A large brush fire spread to nearly 9 acres of heavily wooded area in Loudon and Canterbury on Saturday afternoon, said Loudon fire Chief Dick Wright. The fire was not near any homes.

It took nearly six hours and about 60 people to put out the fire, first reported just after noon by an observer in the Oak Hill Fire Tower in Loudon, Wright said. It took considerable time to find where the fire was, as it was not near any homes or buildings, giving it more time to spread and making it harder to contain.

Spanning about 9 acres, most of the fire was actually in Canterbury along the backside of Clough Pond off Berry Road, Wright said.

The fire departments were lucky someone was at the tower, Wright said.

“They do try to put people up in some of the towers on high fire danger days, and so luckily there was someone up there yesterday,” he said. “This year that tower probably hasn’t been staffed more than four or five days, and nobody else called (the fire) in.”

Twelve fire departments responded to the call, and the fire was finally out by about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Firefighters went back yesterday morning to cool off remaining hot spots.

“It was a fairly good-sized operation,” Wright said.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but people should be careful about lighting or kindling fires in dry woodland areas, Wright said. Although the wooded area is not near any homes, people do have access to it from walking and snowmobile trails.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or or on Twitter at @kronayne.)

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