Fire in the Berkshires 90% contained

Berkshire County

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) — Since Sunday, the East Mountain fire in Clarksburg State Forest has charred an additional 100 acres of land. Since the fire started on Friday in Williamstown, 947 acres have burned. The fire started burning in a remote wooded area that is difficult to get to and hasn’t reached any structures.

According to an update from Massachusetts Department of Fire Services spokesperson Jennifer Mieth, the fire had been contained to 90% as of Monday and is still burning in steep, wooded terrain. The fire did not grow overnight Tuesday as firefighters continued to put the fire out Wednesday.

Firefighters will monitor the fire daily until there’s significant rainfall.

Mieth said the fire is burning leaf litter and forest debris. The soil itself is fairly moist, so it is not burning very deeply, and brooks and streams are serving as natural barriers.

NEWS10’s sister station in Springfield spoke with a firefighter in Northampton who said everyone needs to be cautious this time of year because of the dry weather conditions. “There’s a higher risk everything’s about to dry out. Whether it be a match, cigarettes, or something completely unintentional, the risk there is the spread,” Northampton Fire Captain David Murret said.

Experts say to only start a campfire in an appropriate fire pit ringed with stones and clear of vegetation and never leave a fire unattended.

Meith said this is the largest wildland fire in Massachusetts since the Tekoa Mountain fire in Russell that burned 1,100 acres and claimed the life of Deputy Fire Chief John Murphy. That was April 9, 1999.

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