NORTHFIELD – For the second day in a row, area fire crews battled a multi-alarm brush fire – this time on Reservoir Road.
Crews were called there at noon for a fire that Tilton-Northfield Fire Chief Mike Sitar said was burning about 1,000 yards up a hill.
Firefighters from 14 communities were accessing the blaze using special forest fire hose and all-terrain vehicles brought from different parts of the state.
Meanwhile, crews were still monitoring a five-alarm brush fire off Route 140 in Northfield and Belmont that burned 80 acres on Wednesday, threatening a community in Garden Grove.
According to dispatches over the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid radio, at 4:30 p.m. yesterday an area near Garden Grove flamed up and crews were ordered to lay in a fixed supply of water.
Belmont Fire Chief Dave Parenti was monitoring his department and the scene of Wednesday's fire from a LRMFA trailer while Sitar commanded the scene at Reservoir Road.
Parenti said one of the challenges faced throughout the state was primarily heat, sun, rough terrain and exhausted fire crews.
He also said the wild fires were not the only things happening. While he spoke, he received a call that a older Belmont woman was having serious chest pains and an ambulance crew from Woodstock that was covering his station was ordered to respond.
Crews from New London spent Wednesday night watching the Route 140 scene so local firefighters could get some rest.
"It's ironic that we had such a hard winter and now we're having such a hard spring," said Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson.
He said in general, the area hasn't seen many significant brush fires for about four or five years, meaning there is a lot of fuel from fallen branches, overgrown undergrowth and some slash left over from logging operations.
With no rain expected until Sunday, Erickson said the risk of fires will be even greater in the next few days.
Laconia has crews scattered throughout the area fighting active fires and he said for most of the past two days, the department has been on emergency call-back status, meaning off duty and call firefighter crews are helping to man the station.
He said that all burn permits have been revoked and he cautioned people throughout the area not to burn camp fires and to be especially careful about disposing of cigarette materials.
Like Parenti, he said fighting the brush fires is not the only thing happening for emergency response teams. Since the city responds on average to seven to 10 medical calls daily, he said even though there hasn't been a significant brush fire in the city since Mile Hill a few days ago, city firefighters are equally exhausted.
Erickson said his greatest fear was a building fire some where in the city that could easily spread because of dry conditions everywhere. "The sun and the heat is the same for brush and trees as it is for wooden buildings," he said.
At 5 p.m. Tilton-Northfield and Franklin firefighters experienced Erickson's fear when they were called to a second-alarm building fire at Wyman Gordon on Granite Street in Northfield.
Meanwhile, said Erickson, a large brush fire in Ossipee continues to burn and he noted that as of 2:30 p.m. yesterday it had yet to be contained.