3-alarm brush fire in Londonderry draws large response

UPDATE: The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has posted today’s predicted fire danger as “High” for the state, but has noted that it may be “Very High” in southern Vermont due to higher winds. Open burning requires a permit from your town fire warden.

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

pumping from pond

A fire truck pumps water to the scene from a pond about half a mile away. Click a photo to enlarge. Photos by Shawn Cunningham.

Fire crews from at least 15 departments battled for more than three hours in the dark last night to bring a South Londonderry brush fire under control.

According to Champion Fire Co. Chief Jeff Duda, the fire at 3715 Under the Mountain Road was called in at 7:23 p.m.

By the time firefighters arrived, the sun had set and darkness was closing in. But fire officials called on a Dartmouth Hitchcock helicopter to be their “eyes in the sky.” For about an hour,  Dart 2  located hotspots and guided crews to them in the smokey darkness. “It’s invaluable in the dark to have somebody up there to guide the guys,” said Duda.

After hours fighting fires in the dark a crew heads home

After hours fighting fires in the dark, a crew heads down hill on the back of a pickup.

Before long the fire went to three alarms and more than 100 firefighters responded. “We had good resources right from the start,” said Duda.

The fire is estimated to have covered 15 to 20 acres, and as yet neither the cause nor the point where it started has been determined.

Duda told The Telegraph on the scene that crews would be staying at the fire all night and into the morning, when he expected Vermont Forests & Parks to arrive.

In addition to Champion, the Phoenix Fire Company,  Manchester, Peru, Proctorsville, Ludlow, Mt. Holly, Stratton Mountain, Winhall, Weston, Tinmouth, Windham, Wardsboro, Grafton and Jamaica fire departments all responded. Londonderry Volunteer Rescue was present, but as of 11:15 p.m. no injuries were reported.

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