Windy weather causes trouble for local fire departments battling blazes

QUINCY, Mass. — Firefighters worked nonstop Saturday across Massachusetts. The state fire marshal’s office sent out a warning this week about the increased risk for fires with the dry weather and high winds.

A brush fire got out of control quickly in Quincy Saturday near Fenno Street. Laura Donahue lives across the street from the land known as Pine Island since it’s surrounded by a marsh.

“During low tide you can only access it, because it kind of reveals a little marshy trail,” Donahue said.

Donahue said people usually just go there to hang out, and this afternoon she saw some men drinking there. Then, about an hour after they left, the fire trucks started coming.

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“I don’t think it was anything intentional, like I think it was just they put out a cigarette and didn’t realize that they didn’t put it out all the way,” Donahue said.

The high winds and remote location were a challenge for firefighters.

“It just spread so quickly, like I was amazed. At one point I looked out my window and it was just smoke, and I think 20 minutes later I looked out and it was just a fire across like half the island, I was so shocked,” Donahue said.

Earlier Saturday morning, also in Quincy, a nearly million-dollar home went up in flames on Springfield Street. Firefighters there said the wind made matters worse. Luckily the family made it out safely, but their home is now a pile of debris.

“Any small fire now is just going to take off into a very large area very quickly,” said Chief John Nuttall, Abington’s fire chief.

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Over in Abington, the fire chief said about 30 acres burned in another brush fire. Just another reminder of how dangerous these conditions can be for burning.

“We are receiving the […] red flag warnings of the dry weather for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please take these seriously,” Chief Nuttall said. “This is not the time to have outdoor burning or cook fires until this weather passes, the wind dies down.”

Fire officials said not only does the wind need to die down, but the ground needs to get wet again so there’s no longer a high risk for these brush fires.