Multiple Towns Battle Brush Fire in Quaddick State Forest on High Fire Danger Day

by Quiet Corner Alerts on 08-07-2022

Updated at 7:32 pm August 7th 2022

Thompson Conn. - Dozens of Firefighters spent hours attempting to quell a brush fire located deep in the Quaddick State Forest on Saturday evening.

At approximately 4:48 pm on Saturday, August 6th, the Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications Center (QVEC) received reports of a large brush fire within the Quaddick State Park in the area of Baker Rd and Quaddick Town Farm Rd. When the first units arrived on the scene, they assessed there to be approximately 1.5 acres burning 2 miles into the woods with limited access to the location.

According to Thompson Fire Engine Company Chief Matthew Grauer, crews initially encountered a large amount of fire with standing dead trees fully engulfed. These trees are the result of the gypsy moth caterpillar infestation that occurred in the area some years earlier.

Chief Grauer went on to say the crews were able to make a quick stop at the head of the fire allowing them to focus on felling the burning trees into the already burnt area.

One Firefighter was evaluated on the scene by the Putnam EMS Thompson crew for a possible heat injury after fighting the fire for nearly 3 hours. They were released following on-scene care without the need for transport to the hospital.

Due to the difficult access to the fire, numerous Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) and off-road capable forestry fire trucks were requested to the scene from surrounding towns. As crews worked to access and battle the fire in the intense heat, additional UTVs, Tankers, Firefighters, and a specialized drone unit were brought in to assist.

The Quaddick State Park recreation area provided a staging location for personnel arriving on scene to receive instructions prior to entering the woods, as well as rehabilitation by medical personnel and the Providence Canteen upon exiting the woods.

Due to the hazard of battling a brush fire in rough terrain at night, the DEEP representatives on scene, along with the Thompson Hill Incident Commander, made the decision to suspend suppression efforts at 8 pm to preserve the safety of responders on the fire ground. The DEEP crew remained on scene for an unknown amount of time continuing the overhaul process of fully extinguishing the fire in the ground.

According to the CT DEEP the forest fire danger level for Windham County on Saturday, August 6th, was HIGH.

The final acreage of the incident is assessed to be approximately 1 - 1.5 acres as initially reported and the incident is being investigated by the Thompson Fire Marshall as well as the CT DEEP.

Chief Grauer extended his thanks to all of the mutual aid companies that supplied manpower. With the day reaching high temperatures, there could have been many more health issues with the responders if the work wasn't shared between mutual aid partners.

Departments that responded included the Thompson Fire Engine Company, Quinebaug Volunteer Fire Department, West Thompson Volunteer Fire Department, East Thompson Volunteer Fire Department, Community Fire Company, Attawaugun Fire Department, East Putnam Fire Department, Putnam Fire Department, Bungay Fire Brigade, Voluntown Volunteer Fire Company, Putnam EMS (Thompson Crew), Webster Fire Department (MA), Providence Canteen (RI), and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) forestry units.

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