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Dry Spring Makes For A Busy N.H. Fire Season

Sam Evans-Brown
A fire burns near the Marjory Swope Park in Concord.

According to the state Division of Forest and Lands, fire danger is very high across the entire state. Fire fighters were battling brush fires in more than a half-dozen towns yesterday.

“Yesterday was probably the busiest day we’ve so far this spring” says Brad Simpkins, director of Forest and Lands, “and actually one of the busiest days we’ve probably had in the last few years."

Simpkins says those fires were mostly in Southern New Hampshire. One fire in Concord burned around 60 acres in a public park just outside of the city. Another in Nashua consumed a homeowner’s fence and shed before it was brought under control. Fires were also reported in Jaffrey, Andover, Gilmanton, Rochester, Nashua and Sanbornton.

“Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head,” said Simpkins

This time of year tends to be the busiest for wild-fires, as the snowmelt exposes blowdown on the forest floor, and since the leaves aren’t yet out the sun can easily penetrate to dry the brush.

On top of those this spring has been unusually dry.

“The forecast for the rest of this week is really basically warm, sunny and dry right through at least the first half of the weekend, so we expect this whole week we’ll be running fires each day,” says Simpkins.

Simpkins says no-one should be burning open fires this week, and advises homeowners to clear leaves and brush away from their homes.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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