A large-scale fire on April 29, 2024, was handled by the Wesley (ME) Volunteer Fire Department. Members responded to a semi-truck fire located in Township 30 along State Route 9 in rural Washington County. The first arriving unit (Wesley Engine 6) found the trailer fully engulfed in flames including its cargo of logs of tissue paper. The tractor had been disconnected by the operator. Due to the nature of the material, additional resources were requested for water and personnel as the fire caught nearby woods on fire. Wesley Engine 1 and Engine 4 responded in addition to Alexander Engine 1, Tanker 1, Tanker 2, Marshfield Engine 1, Baileyville Engine 2, and Princeton Tanker 1. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded with two deputies and Maine Forestry Service responded with multiple rangers and a helicopter for water drops. In total, 6.5 acres of dense woods were burned thanks to strong winds. It is believed the source of the fire was a stuck brake on the semi-trailer. An excavator was brought in to shred the paper for extinguishment. Wesley is charged with protecting the 49-square miles of the Town of Wesley plus 181-square miles of unorganized territories.

– Submitted by Dwayne Lee Philbrook NRP, IC