Fire crews douse harvester fire in Sabattus

·2 min read

Jun. 10—SABATTUS — Fire crews used a drone, all-terrain vehicles and assistance from other towns early Tuesday after a harvester went up in flames a mile into the woods, off a logging road.

At about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sabattus fire crews were called to Williams Road after the 1988 Timberjack 608 tree harvester was reported on fire.

The location of the blaze proved to be a challenge for fire crews.

"Access to the fire's location was limited to brush trucks and four-by-four vehicles," according to Sabattus fire Chief Troy Cailler.

Firefighters launched their department drone to determine the fire's location and extent of spread, Cailler said. The aerial view also provided firefighters insight on how best to approach the blaze.

"It was determined that there was a logging trail adjacent to the harvester that the brush trucks would be able to gain access to the burning harvester," Cailler wrote in statement to the news media. "Sabattus Forestry 5 was the first piece of firefighting apparatus on scene and was able to start controlling the fire with their booster tank water and foam."

Crews from Lisbon and Wales were brought to the scene to assist in battling the flames.

"Lisbon Engine 7 also had a hand crew that walked into the scene and began to dig fire lines to assist with the fire spread," Cailler wrote. "Units were able to locate, contain and extinguish the fire in just under an hour from the time of call."

Firefighters remained on scene for several hours, working on overhaul and final mop up of the equipment and surrounding area, according to Cailler. They cleared the scene at about 1 p.m.

Damage to the Harvester, owned by Bolduc Brothers Logging, was estimated at $100,000.

Sabattus fire officials were still investigating the blaze later in the day.