Londonderry firefighters are facing an especially dry and difficult brush fire season this spring.
As temperatures rose last week, the Department was called to several brush fires, both in and out of town.
On Wednesday, April 20, a day the State classified as a Red Flag Warning Day, fire crews extinguished a small brush fire at Avandis Family Dining on Nashua Road around 3:45 p.m.
Although the brush fire was limited to an approximately 10-foot by 60-foot area, crews spent 30 minutes wetting down the soil and ensuring all the embers were extinguished, according to Fire Battalion Chief Mike McQuillen.
“When it’s so dry, we really have to go through and make sure it’s truly out,” he said.
An employee of the business admitted to burning business paperwork that blew into nearby shrubs, igniting the fire, according to McQuillen.
Crews were again called to provide mutual aid for multiple brush fires on Litchfield Road on Thursday, April 21.
“They were there for quite some time, probably two-and-a-half hours,” McQuillen said.
On Friday, April 22 Fire crews were called to a significant brush fire at 24 Watts Road around 4 a.m.
The fire was half an acre in size and involved a shed on the property, according to McQuillen.
“There was extensive damage to the shed,” he said. “Debris piles were on fire as well.”
Litchfield provided mutual aid on the scene, bringing in a tanker; and Derry, Bedford and Windham provided station coverage.
Despite light rainfall the night before, the day was a Class 3 (high danger) day, according to McQuillen.
“The rain fell so light, it didn’t penetrate through the canopy to saturate the ground,” he said. “The danger will remain high until we get a steady rain to saturate the ground and prevent fire from spreading.”
McQuillen explained the number of brush fires the Department has seen this year is above normal due to the dry conditions, lack of rainfall and lack of snow coverage.
“If these conditions continue into the summer, we’ll have a busy brush fire season,” he said.