BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The cause of a brush fire that burned roughly 8 acres of land Thursday in Burrillville was caused by an unattended campfire in the woods, according to Fire Chief Michael Gingell.
Firefighters from at least nine communities rushed to the Spring Lake Fishing Area off Black Hut Road after a forest ranger in Mendon spotted smoke from a nearby fire tower.
“Initially we thought this might be suspicious but further investigation again it’s a campfire that popped up and continued to spread,” Gingell said.
Rhode Island is in the midst of extreme drought conditions, which Gingell believes allowed the fire to spread quickly. He added that the town has recently responded to a number of brush fires caused by unattended campfires.
“Normally In Rhode Island, a fire will typically burn on top of the ground with the leave covers but because of the dryness, it’s burnt down into what we call DUFF or deep into the earth,” Gingell explained.
No injuries were reported and no property was damaged, though Gingell said it could take days to put out all of the hot spots.
“The 24 firefighters that are there this morning the men and women, volunteer and career, are up in the woods digging that out with different grub hoes and applying water to it,” Gingell added.
“We are here until we get some significant rain, if it’s a day or two out that will be great, if it’s a day out that would be really great but I think the weather is pushing significant rain until four days out so we expect to be here,” he continued.
No charges or arrests have been made at this time.